Department of Art and Art History Calendar

Art History Lecture Series presents Padma Kaimal

hindu temple

Narrative images and tangible texts: sculptures and words working together in a Hindu temple

Padma Kaimal trained in the History of Indian Art under Joanna Williams at the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught at Colgate University since 1988. Her research questions common assumptions about art from the Tamil region. Did kings build the only architecture that matters? Did men? Are the boundaries of India’s modern states meaningful for understanding tenth-century architecture? How do narrative sculptures tell their stories? Are fierce goddesses demonic? Are museums the problem, the solution, or both to contentions over cultural property? Her book, Scattered Goddesses: Travels with the Yoginis (Ann Arbor: Association of Asian Studies, 2012) seeks to disrupt categories of East and West, victim and thief, as it traces the worship, ruination, dispersal, and re-enshrinement of nineteen sculptures from a tenth-century goddess temple.  Her essays have appeared in Third Text, Source, The Art Bulletin, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Artibus Asiae, Archives of Asian Art, and Ars Orientalis. Fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the American Institute for Indian Studies, the American Association of University Women, and the Center for South Asian Studies at U. C. Berkeley have supported her research.