Thursday, June 11, 2009

International Art in the Living Room

One of the perks of being married to a guy from India is all the Indian art that's included in the man-dowry. I've picked up a few international items over the years, too, so the sculptural items in our living room are a veritable melting pot of art.

A sweet little peacock from India. He's made a few flights down those stairs you can see a bit of in the lower right-hand corner.

A Hummel given to me by my great-grandmother when I was 5 or 6. (For those of you who will want to know: Grandma on Ryan Road.)

Detail from a plate depicting Lakshmi, the goddess of spiritual and material wealth. Those are elephants on either side of her -- according to this site, they represent the name and fame of wealth, that is, you shouldn't keep wealth to yourself, but share it to bring happiness to others.

The classic flute-playing Krishna; this is the first piece of art I remember asking about during one of my first visits to my husband's apartment.

I believe this is Kathi, a character from the classical dance theater form Kathakali from the state of Kerala in Southern India. He represents "heroes who are not particular about the means they use to gain their needs."

A laughing Buddha to keep us happy. The story goes that he's laughing because he's just learned the secret of enlightenment.

I love the heft of this elephant; it's only about a foot tall but its bulk makes it seem enormous.

A festive clay horse. I asked Mowgli if it had special significance, and he said, "It's just a horse."

The Ashoka Pillar, symbol of India.

The Buddha again, serene this time, and made from a coconut.

Two crystal vases from a trip to southern Poland (Krakow, Zakopane, Auschwitz, the Wieliczka salt mine) with my mom in September 2000. We were there for the nine days between our birthdays, and we spent at least five of those days looking at crystal, amber, blouses and lace. We spent the other four eating, looking at castles and murdering the gorgeous Polish language.

My favorite representation of Ganesh (we have at least four or five), given to us during our reception in India, though I have no idea by whom. His elephant head represents the soul, his human body earthly existence, and his trunk is om, the sound of the cosmos. He is known as the Lord of Success, and destroyer of evils and obstacles.


  1. I think I just fell in love with the destroyer of evil and obstacles...the 1' elephant looks like it should be about 20' and weight tons.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Dave. Ganesh is easy to love for some reason -- but then, what's not to love about an elephant-headed remover of obstacles?


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