The Hindu deity Ganesha c. 1200–1300. India; Karnataka state schist. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Avery Brundage CollectionB62S14+ L2012.0801.023

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Sculpture is an essential part of Indian civilization; a culture that dates back to ancient times and has flourished uninterrupted to the present. It is fundamentally important to India’s nearly one billion Hindu adherents. Consecrated images and forms of the divine serve as the focal point for devotees to worship, meditate on, or otherwise communicate with Hinduism’s innumerable deities and demigods. Many Hindus believe all are manifestations of one supreme, transcendent force or power. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer, and the Great Goddess in various forms affect the universe’s endless cycles of creation, preservation, and dissolution. They preside over a complex and expansive pantheon of consorts, incarnations, lesser gods, and localized deities and heroes. 

Indian Hindu sculpture and historic images from the collections of the Asian Art Museum provide a glimpse at profound expressions of veneration from the world’s oldest living religion. The exhibited objects range from seventh- and eighth-century temple images carved from stone to elaborately rendered wooden sculptures made more than one thousand years later for use in religious processions. All reflect the divine, here on earth and throughout the universe, in its many manifestations.

Special thanks to Forrest McGill, Chief Curator and Wattis Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, and Qamar Adamjee, Associate Curator of South Asian Art, for their generous assistance with this exhibition. 

Deities in Stone: Hindu Sculpture from the Collections of the Asian Art Museum is located in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F from Saturday, August 25, 2012 through Sunday, February 24, 2013. The exhibition is located post-security and is only accessible to passengers ticketed for travel through Terminal 3. There is no charge to view the exhibition. 

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. 
The Hindu deity Shiva as divine teacher [detail] 300–1400. Southern India granite. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Avery Brundage Collection B61S1+ L2012.0801.015