India: A Story Through 100 Objects
We are constantly surrounded by objects, by ‘things that channel and dictate our everyday life, ‘things that we take for granted. But these objects speak to us and speak about us. They have a story to tell that reflects our values and aspirations, our achievements and dreams, and reveal more about us than we realize! This richly illustrated book focuses on 100 objects to tell a story of India that unravels in a series of thematic sections that allow the objects to take centre stage. The stories that some objects tell will be new to readers; at other times, the objects themselves may be familiar but the story they tell may not be obvious. The 100 objects shed light on the varying priorities and the differing strands of achievement that arose over time to create the rich multi-cultural medley that is today's India.
Vidya Dehejia is the Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University in New York, and the recipient of a Padma Bhushan conferred on her by the President of India in 2012 for achievement in Art and Education. Over the past forty years, she has combined research with teaching and exhibition-related activities around the world. Her work has ranged from Buddhist art of the centuries BCE to the esoteric temples of North India, and from the sacred bronzes of South India to art under the British Raj. This comprehensive scope is evident from her books: The Thief who Stole my Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855–1280 to Discourse in Early Buddhist Art: Visual Narratives of India; from The Unfinished: Stone Carvers at Work on the Indian Subcontinent to The Body Adorned: Dissolving Boundaries between Sacred and Profane in India’s Art; and from Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj to Devi, The Great Goddess: Female Divinity in South Asian Art. Management and curatorial experience at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC, combined with her interest and pleasure in teaching first-year undergraduates, provided her with a broad mandate to convey the excitement of her field to non-specialist audiences. India: A Story through 100 Objects is a result of this priority.