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Lyrical Colors, Flowing Stories: Conversations on Paintings with Artist Nilima Sheikh

Two side-by-side paintings of women at a well engaging with a man on horseback.
(Left) An Encounter at a Well, India, Rajasthan, Kishangarh, c. 1745. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Kenneth Galbraith, 1972.350; (right) Nilima Sheikh, Indian, Going Away, from the series Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams, 2009–10. Scroll painted on both sides; casein tempera on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Lecture Norma Jean Calderwood Lecture

Harvard Art Museums, Menschel Hall
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

This event does not require a reservation; see further details below.

In this conversation between Baroda-based artist Nilima Sheikh, scholar Jinah Kim, and curator Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım, we will explore the themes of color and water in traditional painting of South Asia and how these are reflected in Sheikh’s work. Relevant examples from the collections of South Asian and Islamic art on view at the Harvard Art Museums will also be discussed.

Based in Baroda, India, Nilima Sheikh creates works focused on longing, loss, roots, displacement, violence, the perception of tradition, and ideas of femininity. She was selected by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University as the inaugural Distinguished Artist Fellow (2023).

Before and after the discussion, the Islamic and South Asian galleries on Level 2 will be open to view some of the works featured in the program.

Nilima Sheikh, Artist and Distinguished Artist Fellow, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University
Jinah Kim, George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım, Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums

Free admission, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Doors will open at 1:30pm.

Limited complimentary parking is available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Please see the museum visit page to learn about our general policies for visiting the museum.

Support for this lecture is provided by the Norma Jean Calderwood Lecture Fund. The Norma Jean Calderwood Lecture Fund honors a longtime friend of the Harvard Art Museums who pursued graduate study in Islamic art at Harvard and who for many years taught Islamic and Asian art at Boston College and at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The Distinguished Artist Program is funded by the generous contributions of Dipti Mathur, chair of the Mittal Institute’s Arts Council.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.