The Columns

Leyburn Library's Author Talk Series Features Melissa Kerin

— by on November 4th, 2015

Melissa R. Kerin, assistant professor of art history, will talk about her new book, “Art and Devotion at a Buddhist Temple in the Indian Himalaya” (2015), on Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. in Washington and Lee’s Book Nook in Leyburn Library.

This event is part of the University Library’s Author Talk Series and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Sixteenth-century wall paintings in a Buddhist temple in the Tibetan cultural zone of northwest India are the focus of this innovative and richly illustrated study. Initially shaped by one set of religious beliefs, the paintings have since been reinterpreted and retraced by a later Buddhist community, subsumed within its religious framework and communal memory.

Kerin traces the devotional, political and artistic histories that have influenced the paintings’ production and reception over the centuries of their use. Her interdisciplinary approach combines art historical methods with inscriptional translation, ethnographic documentation and theoretical inquiry to understand religious images in context.

In addition to the above book, Kerin is the author of “Artful Beneficence: Selections from the David Nalin Collection” (2009). She also is the author of articles, reviews and book chapters including her co-edited article “Recollecting Kashmir in Style and Theme: The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Painting of the 11-headed 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara” (2015).

In 2014-15, Kerin was awarded a one-year fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies to work on her project titled Materiality of Tibetan Buddhist Shrines: Devotional Objects and Ritual Agents in Tibet, Western Himalayan and the U.S.

In 2013, she was a Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges Mednick Fellowship nominee and was awarded support for fieldwork and research in Ladakh, India.

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