Ramayana exhibition curated by Emory students

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ATLANTA: ‘The Ramayana in Indian Painting’ exhibition has been launched at Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University (Carlos Museum) Atlanta and will continue till May 20. It tells “the Whole Story from Beginning to End.”

Claimed to be first-of-its kind art exhibit which was curated, organized and researched exclusively by Emory students; uniting artwork and classwork; in the class “The Art of a Hindu Epic”; which was taught by professors Ellen Gough and Marko Geslani from Emory’s Department of Religion.

The paintings in this exhibition are dated between the 17th and 19th centuries, including “The Coronation of Rama” (1840). Students included Darby Caso, Parth Goyal, Kristin Kimberlain, Saayli Kokitkar, Marshall Kupka-Moore, Elizabeth Muse, Thomas Shen, Tarun Swaminathan. Most of these students had little background in art history.

Carlos Museum, founded in 1919, “collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets art and artifacts from antiquity to the present”. Its collections include some 17,000 artifacts. Bonnie Speed is the Director.

Internationally recognized Emory University in Atlanta (Georgia), one of the world’s leading research universities, was founded by Methodists (university maintains a formal affiliation with the United Methodist Church) in 1836. It serves about 15,252 students with about $5.4 billion annual operating budget, and has been ranked among top in most beautiful campuses and happiest colleges. Dr. Claire E. Sterk is the President, while Robert C. Goddard III is its Trustees Chair.

Welcoming this development Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that the world over there is 1.1 billion adherents of this third largest religion. Invigorating story of Lord Ram is told and retold again and again all over India. The paintings at the University will provide a good insight to students and the visitors alike about the rich Indian heritage. Ramayana, a narrative poem of about 25,000 slokas beginning in BCE period is divided into seven kandas.

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