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Hidden in Plain Sight: Clay Sculpture in Southern Asia

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Hidden in Plain Sight: Clay Sculpture in Southern Asia

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Saturday, February 17
10:00 a.m. PT
Speaker: Susan S. Bean, Chair, Center for Art and Archaeology, American Institute of Indian Studies
Virtual Event


Air-dried clay (a.k.a. terracruda), along with stone, metal, wood, and fired clay, stands among southern Asia’s oldest and most widely used mediums for sculpture. Typically finished in vivid color, the medium has been largely overlooked in studies of the region’s arts, often misidentified as stucco and terracotta, or sidelined as too breakable and exuberantly colored to be ‘art.’ This excursion brings together some of the most prominent practices across the region to consider why painted air-dried clay has been so valued as medium for figural sculpture, and what its sidelining reveals about the study of visual culture.


Please reserve your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link and instructions via email once you secure your place.

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Sponsored by the South Asian Arts Council.


Featured at top right: Sri Ram Pal (attributed), Portrait figure of Raj Kissen Mitter (detail), ca. 1849. Polychrome terracruda, cloth, hair, chair; life size. Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum.

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February 17
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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