|Born||1924 (age 96–97)|
|Awards||Padma Shri (2010)|
Carmel Berkson (born 1924) is an American sculptor known for her documentation and books on Indian art, aesthetics and architecture. She was conferred the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2010.
Berkson was born in New York in 1924. She majored in history at the Duke University and after graduation, studied sculpture at the Columbia University under Milton Hebald. She is married to Martin Fleisher a batchmate of hers from Duke.
By the time she first visited India in 1970 Berkson had been a practising sculptor for 22 years. That trip, during which she visited Elephanta, Ellora and Mahabalipuram, was a transformative one for her. Berkson soon gave up her career as a sculptor and began to tour India to study its important architectural and cultural sites. In 1977 she moved her main residence to Mumbai in India to continue with her research into the philosophy, mythology and artistic developments in Indian sculpture.
Berkson is noted for both her documentation and commentary on Indian art as well as her own work as a sculptor. She took up sculpting again in 2001 after a hiatus of nearly three decades. Most of her sculptures are renditions of figures from Indian mythology but reflect cubist influences in their depiction.
Her work while drawing from and alluding to Hindu, Christian and Buddhist mythology are noted for their simple, clean forms that reflect a modern aesthetic.
Some of her sculptures are those of Lakshmi and Vishnu as horse and mare, bronze statues of Shiva as Apsamara and of Vishnu atop Garuda. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York has in its possession a collection of her photographs of ancient Indian sculpture.
Berkson is the author of several books on Indian art. These include:
The Government of India honoured Berkson by awarding her the Padma Shri in 2010.Berkson announced her retirement from work and plans to return to the USA later that year. She donated 38 of her sculptures to the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai in 2011.
Nataraja, is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the divine dancer. His dance is called Tandavam or Nadanta, depending on the context of the dance. The pose and artwork is described in many Hindu texts such as the Anshumadbhed agama and Uttarakamika agama, the dance relief or idol featured in all major Hindu temples of Shaivism.
Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a collection of cave temples predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. They are on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Mumbai in the Indian state of Mahārāshtra. The island, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) west of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, consists of five Hindu caves and a few Buddhist stupa mounds that date back to the 2nd century BCE, as well as a small group of two Buddhist caves with water tanks.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is the main museum in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was founded in the early years of the 20th century by prominent citizens of Mumbai, with the help of the government, to commemorate the visit of George V, who was Prince of Wales at the time. It is located in the heart of South Mumbai near the Gateway of India. The museum was renamed in 1998 after Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire.
Ellora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Hindu, Buddhist and Jain monuments, and artwork, dating from the 600–1000 CE period. Cave 16, in particular, features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailash temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Kailash temple excavation also features sculptures depicting the gods, goddesses and mythologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaktism as well as relief panels summarizing the two major Hindu Epics.
The Mandapeshwar Caves is an 8th Century rock-cut shrine dedicated to Shiva located near Mount Poinsur in Borivali, a suburb of Mumbai in Maharashtra, India. The caves were originally Buddhist viharas.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, sometimes referred to as the Ghrneshwar or Ghushmeshwar Temple, is one of the shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva that is referenced in the Shiva Purana. The word Ghrneshwara means "lord of compassion". The temple is an important pilgrimage site in the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, which considers it as the last or twelfth Jyotirlinga. This pilgrimage site is located in Ellora, less than a kilometer from Ellora Caves – a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is about 30 kilometres north-west of the city of Aurangabad, and about 300 kilometres east-northeast from Mumbai.
Tribhaṅga or Tribunga is a standing body position or stance used in traditional Indian art and Indian classical dance forms like the Odissi, where the body bends in one direction at the knees, the other direction at the hips and then the other again at the shoulders and neck.
The Kailasha or Kailashanatha temple is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India. A megalith carved from a rock cliff face, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment, and "the climax of the rock-cut phase of Indian architecture". The top of the superstructure over the sanctuary is 32.6 metres above the level of the court below, although the rock face slopes downwards from the rear of the temple to the front.
Matrikas also called Matar or Matri, are a group of mother goddesses who are always depicted together in Hinduism. Matrikas are the different forms of Adi Parashakti. Matrikas are the personified powers of different Devas. Brahmani emerged from Brahma, Vaishnavi from Vishnu, Maheshvari from Shiva, Indrani from Indra, Kaumari from Skanda, Varahi from Varaha and Chamunda from Devi, and additionals are Narasimhi, Vinayaki.
Pashupatinath Temple at Mandsaur, also referred to as the Mandasor Shiva temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, India. It belongs to Pashupatinath tradition which is one of 6 major tradition within Shaivism. It is located on Shivna River, and is known for its eight-faced Shiva Linga. The temple sculpture is dated to the 5th or 6th century based on inscriptions, with some referring to the site as Dashapura. It is near the Rajasthan border in the historic region of Malwa, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Indore, about 340 kilometres (210 mi) west of Udaigiri Caves and about 220 kilometres (140 mi) east of Shamalaji ancient sites, both a significant source of Gupta Empire era archaeological discoveries. The site has been important to dating and the architectural studies of some distant sites such as the Elephanta Caves.
Sculpture in the Indian subcontinent, partly because of the climate of the Indian subcontinent makes the long-term survival of organic materials difficult, essentially consists of sculpture of stone, metal or terracotta. It is clear there was a great deal of painting, and sculpture in wood and ivory, during these periods, but there are only a few survivals. The main Indian religions had all, after hesitant starts, developed the use of religious sculpture by around the start of the Common Era, and the use of stone was becoming increasingly widespread.
Vishnu is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme being within Vaishnavism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism.
Varahi is one of the Matrikas, a group of seven mother goddesses in the Hindu religion. With the head of a sow, Varahi is the shakti of Varaha, the boar avatar of the god Vishnu. In Nepal, she is called Barahi.
Alice Boner was a Swiss painter and sculptor, art historian, and an Indologist.
Raghunath Mohapatra Rajya Sabha MP is an architect and sculptor from Odisha state in India. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2013 on occasion of 64th Republic Day of India.
Kalyanasundara, also spelt as Kalyansundar and Kalyana Sundara, and known as Kalyanasundara-murti, Vaivahika-murti and Panigrahana-murti ( पाणिंग्रहण-मूर्ति), is the iconographical depiction of the wedding of the Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati. The couple are often depicted performing the panigrahana ritual of a Hindu wedding, where the groom accepts the bride by taking her right hand in his.
Geeta Mahalik is an Indian Odissi dancer. The Government of India honoured her Padma Shri in 2014 for her services to the field of art and culture.
Gupta art is the art of the Gupta Empire, which ruled most of northern India, with its peak between about 300 and 480 CE, surviving in much reduced form until c. 550. The Gupta period is generally regarded as a classic peak and golden age of North Indian art for all the major religious groups. Although painting was evidently widespread, the surviving works are almost all religious sculpture. The period saw the emergence of the iconic carved stone deity in Hindu art, while the production of the Buddha-figure and Jain tirthankara figures continued to expand, the latter often on a very large scale. The traditional main centre of sculpture was Mathura, which continued to flourish, with the art of Gandhara, the centre of Greco-Buddhist art just beyond the northern border of Gupta territory, continuing to exert influence. Other centres emerged during the period, especially at Sarnath. Both Mathura and Sarnath exported sculpture to other parts of northern India.
The Parel Relief or Parel Shiva is an important monolithic relief of the Hindu god Shiva in seven forms that is dated to the late Gupta period, in the 5th or 6th century AD by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),