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Sharing the Yogini Sculptures with US Audiences

Sponsored by the Office of the President, Colgate University

A second symposium at Colgate University on the 9-10th-century sculptures of yogini goddesses that once lived together in a yogini temple in Tamilnadu, India, and that are now scattered across North America and Western Europe.

When objects are scattered from one place to be collected in others, where do they belong? Can they ever return home? What was that home and how did they function there? Colgate University will bring together scholars from six time zones to explore these questions for one special group of sculptures, more than a dozen sculptures of yoginis — powerful and often fierce tantric goddesses — and other deities that shared a ninth–tenth-century temple in southern India, somewhere near the city of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Since 2019 when we began discussing an exhibition to reunite, at least for a while, as many of these charismatic sculptures as possible, and the Zoom conference from Colgate in 2020,  Katherine Kasdorf, curator of the yogini now at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Debra Diamond and Emma Stein, curators of the yogini now at the National Museum of Asian Art, have moved this plan forward with three more planning conferences. Recently, the Detroit Institute of Arts received a planning grant from the Lilly Endowment to make this exhibition a reality in Detroit and elsewhere, tentatively scheduled for 2027-2028.

For a copy of the sympsium schedule, please contact: akowalski@colgate.edu

(Registration information to follow) 

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