A Century of Asian Art at Oberlin: Persian and South Asian Paintings and Manuscripts

June 6 - December 10, 2017

Ripin Gallery

This small but admirable collection of works from Persia and South Asia, which are often requested for private viewings by classes at Oberlin College, has rarely been exhibited to the public in such a complete fashion. Works from the 15th to the 19th centuries include manuscript pages from the Qur’an and Persian Shahnameh (Book of Kings), Sanskrit texts, scenes from stories and poems, depictions of religious subjects, and Ragamala paintings that illustrate Indian musical modes.

Painting styles range from the jewel-like precision of Persian miniatures to the colorful, dynamic compositions of the Paithan style from western India and the lyrical, refined beauty of the Pahari style from northwest India. Also on view are two 19th century Persian silk rugs decorated with floral and geometric motifs. One rug also features verses by Persia’s beloved 13th century poet Sa’di Shirazi.

The exhibition also emphasizes the role that individuals have played in building the AMAM collection through their donations of important works of art. It was organized by Kevin R.E. Greenwood, the Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art.


Lady Seated with a Confidante in a Pavilion as a Storm Approachesca. 1810; ink, opaque watercolor, and gold shell on paper. Gift of Paul F. Walter (OC 1957), 1976.35