New Exhibition Captures Mood, Aesthetics of 20th-Century India

(WORCESTER, Mass., February 15, 2005) - A new Worcester Art Museum exhibition highlights a major collection of contemporary Indian art gifted to the Museum in 2002.

Evoking Rasa in Luminous Visions: Indian Art from the Herwitz Collection, on view at the Museum from Feb. 26 through July 17, features prints and paintings by nine artists working in post-independence India, in the mid- to late-20th century. The works are from a 191-piece collection of Indian art given by the late Chester and Davida Herwitz, longtime residents of Worcester, Mass., and founders of Davey's Inc., a local fashion accessories company. During the latter half of the 20th century, the Herwitzes amassed the largest collection of contemporary Indian art in the world.

“The generous support provided by the Herwitzes enabled many Indian artists, including those featured in this exhibition, to gain the international fame they enjoy today,” said Curator of Asian Art Louise E. Virgin. “It also ensured Chester and Davida Herwitz a vital role and place in the history of contemporary Indian art.”

Emblematic of the creativity and vibrant diversity of Indian culture, talented artists flourished as India gained independence from British rule in 1947. Several schools emerged, melding Indian styles and traditions with modern international movements. Using a variety of media, featured artists including Maqbool Fida Husain, K. Laxma Goud, and Krishna Reddy explored themes such as the cyclical nature of existence, the nature of man and woman, and the role of the divine in contemporary society. In some works, the interrelationships between subject, space and color are paramount, while in others it is the notion of the mysticism and the lyrical.

“The artists represented in this show have created unique, innovative works that resonate with the joyful, emotive colors, moods and flavors, or rasa, of Indian aesthetics,” said Virgin.

Evoking Rasa in Luminous Visions also features exquisite gold and silver Indian jewelry, both from the Museum's collection and on loan from a private collection previously owned by the Herwitzes. Archival material relating to the Herwitzes is also included.

This exhibition is sponsored by Fallon Clinic.

About the Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1898, is world-renowned for its 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings and new media. The works span 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from ancient Roman mosaics to Colonial silver, Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Dedicated to the promotion of art and art education, the Museum offers a year-round studio art and art appreciation program that enrolls over 6,000 adult and youth students each year. Public tours are offered Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., September through May. Audio tours are also available in English and Spanish.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (evening hours sponsored by Commerce Bank), and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and full-time college students with current ID, and FREE for Members and all youth 17 and under. Admission is also FREE for everyone on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.-noon (sponsored by The TJX Companies, Inc. and Massachusetts Electric, a National Grid Company). The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass., easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), Route 290 and Route 9. Free parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406.