Divine Visions Worldly Lovers

Date:     Wednesday, June - 18, 2008
Time:    5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location:   Divine Visions Worldly Lovers
Mills College Art Museum

Divine Visions Worldly Lovers
Mills College Art Museum
June 18−August 3, 2008
Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Please join a special SACHI tea reception, 2.00-3.00 p.m.

Curator’s Walk-through and Lecture: Saturday, June 21, 3:00 p.m.
presented by Mills College Art Museum and SACHI

Mills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, Ca. 94613

Divine Visions Worldly Lovers
Indian Paintings from the Collection of Barbara Janeff
Curated by Robert J. Del Bontà

The diverse deities of South Asia are major themes in Indian painting but romantic love also plays a large role in the intensely-colored, and often small-scale, works. Both of these themes can be seen repeated often in the Janeff collection of Indian paintings. This Bay-Area collection, which includes work from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, highlights many styles and trends found in Indian art. Indian artists constantly played with various painting approaches— conflicting ones such as realism and abstraction—and often within a single work.

Perhaps confusing at first, upon closer inspection this layering of artistic conventions can be subtle and sophisticated. With the advent of the Mughal style, associated with a Muslim dynasty founded in the sixteenth century and ultimately ruling most of North India, European realism was introduced, particularly in the portrait tradition. The accomplished academic style developed in Mughal ateliers combined Indian and Persian styles with Western realism.

A full-color illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

William Dalrymple discussing his latest book The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857

Date:     Wednesday, April - 02, 2008
Time:    6.00 pm
Location:   Morrison Room, 101 Doe Library

SACHI and the Center for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley proudly present: William Dalrymple discussing his latest book
The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857

When: Wednesday, April 2 at 6.00 pm
Where: Morrison Room, 101 Doe Library

Talk followed by book signing

Co-sponsored by South & Southeast Asian Studies, Center for Middle East Studies and Center for British Studies

Monarchs in Indian Art

Date:     Sunday, March - 02, 2008
Time:    2 pm
Location:   Cultural Integration Fellowship
2650 Fulton Street at 3rd Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

SACHI, The Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India, and CIF, Cultural Integration Fellowship, invite you to

Monarchs in Indian Art

An Illustrated Talk
by Dr. Gautama Vajracharya

The mainstream Indian art is almost devoid of any representation depicting a monarch engaged either in a battle or in a hunting expedition. Such a non-violence approach of the artistic tradition differs drastically from the literary heritage of the country. Sanskrit literature, for instance, is full of detailed descriptions of the ruthless slaughter of an enemy in a battle and the bravery of a warrior king in killing the beasts of game. What is the reason for
such difference? A new investigation on this subject is the main focus of Dr. Vajracharya’s talk.

Sunday, March 2, 2008, 2:00 pm
Cultural Integration Fellowship
2650 Fulton Street at 3rd Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Dr. Gautama Vajracharya is a Sanskrit scholar with a keen interest in South Asian art. He teaches Indian civilization and art history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His most recent publication is the Watson Collection of Indian Miniatures at the Elvejehm Museum of Art. He is also the author of
Everlasting Flower of Buddhist Art.




Shakespeare in Asia, a celebration!
An Evening with Ismail Merchant
Producer and director Ismail Merchant of Merchant Ivory Productions addressed his life and work.
Stanford Shakespeare Institute, Stanford Film Society and SACHI

The Secrets of Satyajit Ray’s Art
Professor Dilip Basu spoke about Satyajit Ray and his films, followed by screenings of Ray’s Inner Eye, a documentary
of Ray’s teacher in Shantiniketan, Binode Nehary Mukherjee, and Ray’s little-known Parable of Two, a Bay Area Premiere.
SACHI and the Cultural Integration Fellowship Music/Dance

Kabir in Song: Musical Traditions of a Great Religious Poet of India
Featuring folk singer of Malwa and classical singer of Varanasi
Asian Religions & Cultures Initiative, Stanford University, SACHI and others Dance as a Living Language and The Essence of Indian Dance
Mallika Sarabhai, acclaimed star of Peter Brooks’ stage production and film, The Mahabharata, and Daksha Mashruwala,
distinguished classical dancer
SACHI and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Classical Arts

The Padshahnama
Milo Beach, then director of Freer/Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution and curator of the exhibition, King of the World;
Padshahnama, a Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle
SACHI, Palo Alto Art Center, and the Stanford Art Museum The Wonder that was Khajuraho
Khajuraho scholar Devangana Desai
SACHI and Mills College Art Department The Five Auspicious Events in the Life of a Jina: A Lecture on the Jain Arts and Culture of India
Saryu Doshi, honorary director, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
SACHI and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Desire & Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection
A talk by Mr. And Mrs. Ford in conjunction with the exhibition
SACHI and the Cantor Arts Center

Sacred Images: The Tradition of Mithila Painting
A lecture by Malini Bakshi and David L. Szanton
SACHI and the the de Saisset Museum Auspicious Atmosphere: Indian Temple Facade & Ajanta Ceiling Paintings
A lecture by An Illustrated Talk by Dr. Gautama Vajracharya
SACHI The Treasury of the World: A Glimpse of Mughal Jeweled Splendor
A lecture by Meera Kumar
SACHI and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Architecture

An Architecture for India
“We build our buildings … and then our buildings build us.”
Charles Correa, a major figure in contemporary architecture worldwide
SACHI, Asian Art Museum, and the Palo Alto Art Center

Tall Tombs: Muharram Art in the Punjab
Tryna Lyons is an independent art historian with degrees from University of California, Berkeley and the American University of Paris.
SACHI adn the Asian Art Museum

Mughal Arts, Ideology and the Construction of Kingship by Dr. Catherine Asher
SACHI, Center for South Asia, the Cantor Arts Center, and the Interrogating Modernity Postcoloniality Research Workshop at Stanford University. Archaeology

The Origins and Decline of the Indus Valley Civilization
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, leading scholar of Indus Valley Civilization and director of the
Harappa Archaeological Research Project (HARP)
SACHI and the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

Social Sciences

Jewish Communities in Cochin & Mumbai: Caste and Racial Stratification Among God’s Chosen People
A lecture by Ken Blady
SACHI Photography

From Kashmir to Kabul: The Photographs of John Burke and William Baker, 1860-1900
Omar Khan, creator of award winning website,, a gateway to South Asian history
SACHI and the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University Contemporary Art

Introducing contemporary artists Zarina Hashmi, Atul Dodiya, Shahzia Sikander, and T. Vaikuntham to Bay Area audiences
SACHI in cooperation with Mills College Art Department, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and Arts India West gallery Museum Exhibitions

Impossible Picturesqueness: Textiles in Mewar Painting by Rahul Jain
SACHI and the Asian Art Museum.

From Mind, Heart, and Hand: Indian, Persian, and Turkish Drawings from the Stuart Cary Welch Collection
SACHI, TIE, ICC and Asian Art Museum members Mithila Painting: The Evolution of an Art Form
Exhibition traces development of a vibrant painting tradition from its ritual and folkloric roots to its unique cultural
expression and internationally recognized art form
Museum of Craft and Folk Art, SACHI and other participants Textile Exhibitions

The Narrative Thread: A Women’s Embroidery from Rural India, an exhibition, and related talk, Kanthas & Folk Art
SACHI instrumental in bringing to the Bay Area an exhibition of works in the sujni tradition of Bihar, hosting Nirmala Devi from
Bihar for demonstrating the craft tradition in conjunction with exhibition opening, and organizing children’s workshop on Kantha Art.
Palo Alto Art Center, SACHI and Maitri

Weaving Magic: The Story of the Kashmir Shawl
Lecture and weekend display by Aditi Desai, avid collector of shawls from India and Europe
SACHI and the Asian Art Museum Traditions in Transition: Rabari Textiles in the Cyber Age
Judy Frater, former curator, Textile Museum, Washington D.C., author of Threads of Identity, a seminal study of rabari embroidery,
and a friend and advocate of the semi nomadic rabari people, settled in villages near Bhuj. Celebrated Authors and Book Readings

White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth Century India
Author William Dalrymple introducing his latest novel
SACHI and Society for Asian Art Husband of a Fanatic
Author of Passport Photos and Bombay London New York, Amitava Kumar speaks about his new book SACHI and CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies)

The Shape of Water: A documentary by Kum-Kum Bhavnani Narrated by Susan Sarandon

Date:     Tuesday, February - 19, 2008
Time:    3.30 p.m.
Location:   370 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley

CSAS Public Film & Documentary Series

Center for South Asia Studies,
Gender & Women’s Studies
Beatrice Bain Research Group, and
Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI)
present: The Shape of Water

A documentary by Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Narrated by Susan Sarandon

Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 3.30 p.m.
370 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley

Visit us on the web at

A story of five women in India, Brazil, Jerusalem and Senegal
who defy societal taboos to change their communities

Kum-Kum Bhavnani is a Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara and a film-maker. Her first documentary, THE SHAPE OF WATER, premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2006, and has since toured internationally with screenings in Durban, New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona and Rome. Her film was supported by grants from UCSB, the LEF Foundation, the Ford Foundation as well as private donors.

Bhavnani grew up in England, and since age 18 she worked on anti-racist, international, feminist and trade union issues. She was an invited participant at the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism.

Kum kum Bhavnani earned her Ph.D from Cambridge University (King’s College) in 1988 and published her first book, Talking Politics in 1991.

Screening followed by Q&A with Director


The Windsor Shahnama of 1648: AnIllustrated Persian Manuscript Offered to Queen Victoria by an Afghan Prince in 1839. Lecture by Dr. Eleanor Sims

Date:     Thursday, February - 14, 2008
Time:    7-8pm
Location:   Samsung Hall
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
Free after museum admission.

Mills College, the Asian Art Museum and SACHI present:

The Windsor Shahnama of 1648: An Illustrated Persian Manuscrip Offered to Queen Victoria by an Afghan Prince in 1839. A Lecture by Dr. Eleanor Sims.

Thursday, February 14, 2008, 7-8pm
Asian Art Museum
Samsung Hall
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
Free after museum admission.

A literary masterpiece written by the poet Firdawsi at the turn of the eleventh century, the Shahnama (Book of Kings) chronicles the history of Iran from its mythical earliest days to the Muslim conquest. The importance of this text to Iranian culture is reflected in the thousands of copies made since its composition. A large and lavishly illustrated Shahnama volume was presented to Queen Victoria in 1839 by the Afghan prince Kamran Shah as a gesture of thanks to the British government for its support during the siege of the city of Herat. One of the most magnificent of all surviving manuscripts, the Windsor Shahnama is today considered among the finest treasures in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. The co-author of the just released book: The Windsor Shahnama of 1648, Dr. Eleanor Sims, will discuss the artistic and cultural significance of this 17th-century Shahnama, some of the 148 paintings in it, and the rich illumination in several colors of gold on virtually all of the more than 1,500 pages of the manuscript.


Rama and Company come to the Asian

SACHI’s Annual Event 2015, held at the Asian Art Museum, was a resounding success.Dr. Forrest McGill, Senior Curator AAM,  captivated the audience as he explained the subtleties and complexities of the upcoming Ramayana exhibition at the AAM, showcasing examples of the exquisite artwork to be displayed. An engaging conversation with Dr. Robert P. Goldman and Dr. Sally J. Sutherland Goldman from UC Berkeley answered some of the audience’s endless questions. Dr. Mallika Sarabhai performed a mesmerizing piece from Sita’s Daughters, her feminist version of the Ramayana, that questions the role of women in a patriarchal world.  For more pictures of the event click here.


The Rama Epic : Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe

SACHI proudly co-sponsors the Asian Art Museum 50th anniversary publication for the ongoing exhibition on the Ramayana.

Please visit the exhibition from Oct. 21, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017. Further details here.