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July 13th, 1998
Threads Of Cotton, Threads Of Brass: Arts Of Eastern India And Bangladesh From The Stella Kramrisch Collection

Art in the Indian subcontinent was and is by no means limited to temples and palaces. Objects created for domestic use and for use in the rural village setting are often of great beauty and aesthetic power. This exhibition explores the art and ritual of the varied spheres of life—domestic, village and temple—through works made in the regions of eastern India and neighboring Bangladesh. A range of objects created for domestic and village use will be displayed—votive sculptures and ritual implements of metal, many using the "resin-thread" technique; quilted and embroidered textiles (kanthas); and painted narrative scrolls. Most date from the 19th and 20th centuries. These objects are supplemented by a small selection of terracotta and stone sculpture from temples, to explore the interrelationship of the public and private realms of ritual life. The works in the exhibition come from the collection of the eminent scholar and former Philadelphia Museum of Art curator, Dr. Stella Kramrisch (1896-1993), and many form part of her bequest to the Museum. The majority of the objects were collected during the years between 1922 and 1950, when she lived and taught in Calcutta. Most have not been exhibited in 30 years or are exhibited here for the first time.

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