Asian art has long had a place among the Carlos Museum's collections, but the pace of this collecting activity has accelerated greatly in recent years, highlighted in the gallery's first installation, The Arts of India and the Himalayas: Recent Acquisitions.
Aided principally by the Nathan Rubin-Ida Ladd Family Foundation, the Museum has acquired works of Asian art with a special interest in South Asia. Featured works include a majestic late-1st–early-2nd-century seated Buddha from Mathura in India, one of the most important such works in an American museum, and an 11th–12th-century sculpture of a rare, cosmic form of eighteen-armed Vishnu with numerous swaying attendants, a stunning example of the elegance and sophistication of Indian medieval sculpture.
Some of the finest bronze sculptures ever created were produced by artisans working under the Chola Dynasty of South India between the ninth and thirteenth centuries. A 10th-century bronze Jain altar representing the Jina Rishabhanatha enshrined, a gift of Kellstadt Professor of Marketing Jagdish Sheth of Emory's Goizueta Business School and his wife Madhu, offers eloquent testimony of the third great religious tradition to originate in India.
Thanks to the generous financial support of the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Carlos is pleased to present Odyssey Online: South Asia, a web-based resource for upper elementary, middle, and high-school students that uses engaging interactive technology to explore Hindu and Buddhist works in the museum's collection in depth, and to provide an understanding of the ways in which similar objects function in religious contexts in India and here in Atlanta. Students may explore a 13th-century gilt Buddha from Tibet in the museum's collection, and then explore a similar one, with the help of a Tibetan Buddhist monk, on the altar at Atlanta's Drepung Loseling Monastery. They can study a sandstone image of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha, and then witness a religous ritual that happens every Saturday morning at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in which the deity is annointed with auspicious substances, dressed, and ornamented, providing an understanding of how such sculptures function in religious contexts.
Over 1,000 high resolution images of works of art in the Carlos Museum's collections are available online. Browse the collection or log in with an Emory user ID and password to create "media groups" and export images into presentation programs such as PowerPoint and Keynote, as well as social media platforms.