The Dr. Ranajit K. Datta Distinguished Lecture in Indian Art

Medieval Indian Manuscripts and the Stories They Tell


Phyllis Granoff, Lex Hixon Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Yale University  

Sunday, January 29, 2023, 2:00 p.m. 
Gartner Auditorium

Dr. Ranajit K. Datta Lecture 2023: Medieval Indian Manuscripts and the Stories They Tell

The Cleveland Museum of Art has an important collection of Buddhist and Jain manuscripts, some of which are being shown for the first time in the exhibition Text and Image in Southern Asia (August 26, 2022–March 5, 2023). This lecture explores the stories these manuscripts and others like them tell us about the religious, social, and economic worlds of their origin. 

Who had these manuscripts made and why? How and of what were they made? How were they used and stored? How were they valued, as sacred texts to be worshiped or works of art? To study these manuscripts is a continuing process of asking questions, and in this talk Dr. Granoff shares her journey for these answers. 

Phyllis Granoff received her PhD from Harvard University in the Departments of Fine Arts and Sanskrit and Indian Studies. After teaching at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, for many years, she moved to Yale University, where she was the Lex Hixon Professor of World Religions. She has written extensively on premodern Indian art, literature, and philosophy and has translated modern stories from Bengali and Oriya.

The annual Dr. Ranajit K. Datta Lecture brings nationally and internationally recognized experts in the fields of art history and archaeology to discuss new scholarship, museum exhibitions, and archaeological discoveries in Indian art.

The annual Dr. Ranajit K. Datta Lecture is made possible through the Dr. Ranajit K. Datta in Memory of Kiran P. and S. C. Datta Endowment Fund.    


All education programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Education. Major annual support is provided by the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Generous annual support is provided by Brenda and Marshall Brown, Florence Kahane Goodman, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, and the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation. Additional annual support is provided by Gail Bowen in memory of Richard L. Bowen, the M. E. and F. J. Callahan Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., Char and Chuck Fowler, the Giant Eagle Foundation, the Logsdon Family Fund for Education, Roy Smith, and the Trilling Family Foundation. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Education programs are supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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