The 'Yoga: The Art of Transformation' exhibition at the Smithsonian Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. will run from October 19th to January 26th. Its opening was delayed due to the government shutdown, but now things are back on track at the Freer and Sackler Galleries.
"This exhibition looks at yoga's ancient roots, and how people have been trying to master body and spirit for millennia," said Julian Raby, The Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art in the press release. "By applying new scholarship to both rarely seen artworks and recognized masterpieces, we're able to shed light on practices that evolved over time—from yoga’s ancient origins to its more modern emergence in India, which set the stage for today’s global phenomenon."
The exhibition will feature over 130 objects from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the U.S.
Curator Deb Diamond said, "We’re excited about “Yoga: The Art of Transformation” because it brings together amazing works (created over some two millennium) and new scholarship. Yoga is a household word the world over, but scholars have not holistically explored its visual culture before; visual culture provides new insights so we think exhibition will delight and inform broad audiences."
Though the shutdown forced the temporary closure of the galleries, the exhibition itself does not rely primarily on taxpayer money. "Yoga: The Art of Transformation" was made possible by a month-long crowdfunding campaign, the largest ever conducted by the Smithsonian.
An email about the delay said that the benefit gala would go on in a different location, and organizers wrote that they were all "waiting with bated breath (or should I say deep yogic breathing?)" for the shutdown to be over. Fortunately, they didn't have to wait long.
Preview the amazing images here: