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Mithila Painting Today: New Uses for Ancient Deities

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Mithila Painting Today: New Uses for Ancient Deities


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Speaker: Dr. David Szanton, President, Ethnic Arts Foundation

The Hindu Pantheon abounds with Gods and Goddesses, each with a unique physical appearance and personal characteristics. For at least the last 20 years, growing numbers of the women painters in the Mithila region of Bihar have been using the ancient figures and narratives of the Hindu Pantheon to subtly, or very directly, argue for social and political change in the domains of patriarchy, gender equality, love, marriage, and caste oppression. The artists are finding and drawing on new meanings in the lives and images of Durga, Shiva and Parvati, Ram and Sita, Radha and Krishna, as well as Raja Salhesh and the kohbar, the classic Maithil marriage icon.

This online presentation will focus on and illustrate with numerous paintings the new uses and meanings in these ancient figures and narratives that are enabling women in Mithila to express their concerns and desires in the rapidly changing worlds around them.


Please register by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link and instructions via email once registration is complete. Space is limited.

Sponsored by the South Asian Arts Council.


October 24, 2020
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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