Monday, February 7, 2011


“VISHNU: HINDUISM’S BLUE-SKINNED SAVIOR” - Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior, the first major museum exhibition to focus on the Hindu Deity Vishnu in the U.S., has been organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and will open with a free community preview day on Saturday, February 19, 2011. This exhibition, guest curated by Joan Cummins, Ph.D., Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, introduces one of Hinduism’s primary Deities to broad audiences through more than 170 paintings, textiles, prints and sculptures created in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh between the third and twentieth centuries. The exhibition represents a variety of periods, regions, and art styles and reveals the many ways that Vishnu was portrayed and celebrated. The works of art included in the exhibition were chosen for their artistic merit and for the novel or unusual treatments of their subject matter. Vishnu has been worshipped for more than 2,000 years throughout India, and today, his devotees, known as Vaishnavas, can be found the world over. The God and his Avatars have been the inspirations for countless great works of art and literature as well as music, dance and theatrical traditions.

“The material is incredibly deep and rich. We hope to reach broad audiences, from armchair travelers, to local and regional South Asian communities, to those who simply enjoy cultural exploration,” said Frist Center Executive Director Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from all the world. This exhibition covers much of the history of art in India and reveals the remarkable intellectual, technical and aesthetic sophistication of ancient Indian tradition. The exhibition introduces non-Hindu audiences to the beauty and cultural meaning contained in works of art relating to the Vaishnava tradition, while offering Hindu audiences the opportunity to share and celebrate the traditional expressions of their spiritual beliefs.

The face of Lord Vishnu as described in this verse appears like a lotus flower with bees humming over it. All of the ornaments on the body of Lord Vishnu resemble molten gold of the reddish-gold color of the morning sunrise. The Lord appears, just as the morning sun rises, to protect the whole universal creation. His arms display different weapons, and His eight hands are compared to the eight petals of a lotus flower. All the weapons mentioned are for the protection of His devotees. Generally in the four hands of Vishnu there are a wheel, club, conchshell and lotus flower. ... The club and the wheel are the Lord’s symbols of punishment for the demons and miscreants, and the lotus flower and conchshell are used to bless the devotees. ... “As soon as Lord Vishnu was visible, all the demigods - Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, the Gandharvas and all present there - immediately offered their respectful obeisances by falling down straight before Him.”

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Purport in The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
Canto 4: “Creation of the Fourth Order”
Chapter 7: “The Sacrifice Performed by Daksha”, Verses 20-22.
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Network

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