Worcester Art Museum Hosts Talk on Contemporary Art of India on Sept. 15

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Focus Object: "The Storm (a lady taking shelter from the monsoon wind and rain)," Indian, Punjab Hills, about 1760-1770 watercolor on paper, 16.5 x 12.1 cm (6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.), Gift of Alexander H. Bullock, 1956.3

WORCESTER, MA– The Worcester Art Museum, whose encyclopedic 37,500-piece collection covers 51 centuries of art, will host a talk on “The Figurative and the Narrative in Courtly and Contemporary Art of India” on Sept. 15 at 6:00 pm.

The speaker is Vishakha Desai, special advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and an Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs. The talk, which will be held at the Museum located at 55 Salisbury St. in Worcester, is organized under  the Museum’s Master Series program.

Focus Object is: “The Storm (a lady taking shelter from the monsoon wind and rain),” Indian, Punjab Hills, about 1760-1770 watercolor on paper, 16.5 x 12.1 cm (6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.), Gift of Alexander H. Bullock, 1956.3.

Vishakha Desai
Vishakha Desai

Desai served as President and CEO of the Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships among peoples of Asia and the U.S. from 2004 through 2012. Under her leadership the society expanded the scope and scale of its activities with the opening of new offices in India and Korea, a new center of U.S.–China Relations, various leadership initiatives, and inauguration of two new architecturally distinguished facilities in Hong Kong and Houston.  Prior to becoming President, Desai held various senior positions at the Asia Society from 1990 to 2004.

Before joining the Asia Society in 1990, Desai was at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as a Curator and the Head of Public Programs and Academic Affairs.  She has taught at Columbia University, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts where she was given a tenured appointment.

Desai holds a B.A. in political Science from Bombay University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan.  The recipient of numerous international and national grants and fellowships, Desai has received four honorary degrees from American Universities.  For her work on Asian American issues, she has received awards from the University of Massachusetts, City University of New York, Asian Americans for Equality, and Leadership Education for Asian Pacific Americans (LEAP).  . Desai was selected by Crain’s New York as one of the “100 most powerful women leaders” in New York, by India Abroad, the leading national weekly for Indian Americans, as one the “50 most distinguished Indian Americans,” and was honored by Zee T.V. (India) as the outstanding International Woman of the Year.

The Worcester Art Museum’s Master Series gives a close up look at one or two works by six signature artists.  Exhibited in select galleries throughout the Museum, these intimate displays allow for contemplation and study of some of the world’s most celebrated artists.

Focus Object: "The Storm (a lady taking shelter from the monsoon wind and rain)," Indian, Punjab Hills, about 1760-1770  watercolor on paper, 16.5 x 12.1 cm (6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.), Gift of Alexander H. Bullock, 1956.3
Focus Object: “The Storm (a lady taking shelter from the monsoon wind and rain),” Indian, Punjab Hills, about 1760-1770
watercolor on paper, 16.5 x 12.1 cm (6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.), Gift of Alexander H. Bullock, 1956.3

Founded in 1896, the Worcester Art Museum’s encyclopedic 37,500-piece collection covers 51 centuries of art. Highlights include the Medieval Chapter House, Renaissance Court and Worcester Hunt Mosaic, as well as the recently integrated John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection of arms and armor. The Museum is internationally known for its collection of European and American art. It was the first in America to acquire paintings by Monet and Gauguin and one of the first to collect photography. As the first U.S. museum to focus on collaborating with local schools, it has been at the forefront of engaging audiences and giving them a meaningful and personal experience.

The Worcester Art Museum, located at 55 Salisbury St. in Worcester, MA, is open Wednesday through Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and every third Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $6 for children 4-17, $12 for seniors 65+, and $12 for college students with ID. Members and children under four are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit worcesterart.org.

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