Tradition and Transformation: Mithila Art of India

Dulari Devi, Krishna Stealing the Saris of the Gopis (2020), Acrylic on paper, 22 x 30”. Collection of Kathryn Myers.

March 24 to July 29, 2022
(Note: The museum is closed on weekends in July)

Mithila art is an indigenous form of painting originating in the northern state of Bihar in India. Historically created as sumptuous wall murals, over the decades Mithila art has evolved as works on paper and canvas which has both preserved the tradition and generated new themes. Originally a matriarchal tradition with distinct styles based on caste, current Mithila art is created by both female and male artists and caste distinctions have become more fluid.

This exhibition will include over thirty works of art from the collection of Professor Kathryn Myers as a bequest to the Benton Museum. A catalog with essays by leading scholars in the field will be available. Professor Myers has collected Mithila art for over two decades and visited the region in 2012 to create video interviews with two leading Mithila artists. The exhibition is also the result of a generous donation of art from the Ethnic Art Foundation which has supported the creation of Mithila art in India since 2003.