Ramila and Jayesh Shah Public Lecture

Nonviolence and the Art of India


Dr. Sonya Quintanilla

Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. Reception at 4:00 p.m.

Cal Poly Pomona, Bronco Student Center Ursa Minor Room

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Event Description and Details

India ’s art shows an abiding concern with nonviolence (ahimsa) among many prominent social and religious groups, from the ancient to the modern times. In this richly illustrated lecture, Dr. Sonya Rhie Quintanilla will highlight the depiction of ahimsa in a variety of art forms drawn from Indian history. The architecture and sculpture of the Indus Valley civilization, which flourished four thousand years ago, provide evidence for a unique urban society without weapons or warfare. The first monumental stone productions were made during a renewed period of peace following the conversion of emperor Asoka to Buddhism in the third century BCE. Jaina and Buddhist narrative sculptures and paintings through the medieval period also attest to the essential role of ahimsa in shaping the nature of public monuments, manuscripts and personal objects of meditation. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of how art was used during the nonviolent movement led by Mahatma Gandhi for India’s independence from the British.

Lecture 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., Reception 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Event is Free.
Register by Email before July 16, 2008 as Space is Limited.

Dr. Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, is the Curator of Asian Art at the San Diego Museum of Art. She has organized several art exhibitions, including Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting, and Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose (1882-1966).

Her scholarly publications include a book-length study, History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura, ca. 150BCE to 100C.E. (2007), and numerous articles on early Indian sculpture. She is also the author of the exhibition catalogue, Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose (2008).

Dr. Quintanilla received her Ph.D. in South Asian art history from Harvard University and a B.A. in South Asian art and religion from Smith College. She has taught as a professor of South Asian art history at the University of California, Irvine and was also a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Contact: Professor Tara Sethia, Director, Ahimsa Center (909) 869-3868/3808.

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