South Asian Art: Experimentation, Interpretation, and Evaluation

Philadelphia Museum of Art



Artist unknown, Krishna and Radha, c. 1750, opaque watercolor and gold on cotton. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Programming from the third annual Anne d’Harnoncourt Symposium: \Exhibiting India's Art in the 21st Century


Hall from the Madanagopalaswamy Temple, Madurai, South India, circa 1560, granitic stone. Gift of Susan Pepper Gibson, Mary Gibson Henry and Henry C. Gibson in memory of Adeline Pepper Gibson, 1919-714. Photo by Joseph Hu.


Artist unknown, Processional Face of the God Bhairava, c. 16th century, mercury-gilded copper alloy with rock crystal, paint, foil, and glass decoration. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

For the first time in 40 years, the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) will reinstall and reinterpret its eight galleries of South Asian art, which include nearly 3,000 works spanning over 2,500 years. Responding to extensive visitor feedback, the re-installed galleries will be redesigned to be more thematic, immersive, and flexible. This new interpretation will offer visitors opportunities to engage with the works in a variety of ways, and to bring their own present-day experiences and emotions to their understanding of the objects. Project team members will also work with fellow museum curators on integrating contemporary artworks into the galleries. The PMA will use this project as a potential model for future reinstallations of the museum's other collection galleries.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.