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Visual Arts Open Lecture Series: Siddhartha V. Shah

Siddhartha V. Shah headshot

The Visual Arts Lecture Series presents talks by leading Canadian and international artists, curators, and academics.

Join Visual Art residency faculty, Siddhartha V. Shah, a highly acclaimed curator and the John Wieland 1958 Director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts for an afternoon talk. Though grounded in Indian art, Shah's talk will address topics that extend well beyond the subcontinent. Discussion will include the omnipresence of the body in Indian art - divine and human, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic, auspicious and inauspicious, gendered and transcendent of gender. Shah will speak about the connections between the physical body and the natural world, and the prevalence of ornament (jewels, flowers, physical markings...) as superficial but deeply substantive, fulfilling various social and symbolic functions.

Biography: Siddhartha V. Shah

Siddhartha V. Shah is the John Wieland 1958 Director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was previously Director of Education and Civic Engagement and Curator of South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum where he curated Zachari Logan: Remembrance. He earned his BA in art history from The Johns Hopkins University, an MA in Hindu philosophy and Jungian psychoanalysis from The California Institute of Integral Studies, and a PhD in art history and archaeology from Columbia University. He has published extensively on a range of topics including the body and sexuality in Hindu and Buddhist art, the conflicts and intersections between spirituality and modern art, and styling imperial power through fashion, jewels, and the emasculation of native men in British India. His academic and curatorial projects have been featured in publications ranging from The Times of India and India Today, to The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today.