Vidya Dehejia

Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art

South Asian Art
Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1967

Contact Information

Phone: (212) 854-5691
Office: 910 Schermerhorn
Office Hours: On Leave
For further information and to download articles, please visit


In the course of her career, Vidya Dehejia has combined research with teaching and exhibition-related activities around the world. Extensive field travel in South Asia, with visits to sites of importance in Southeast Asia, has given her first hand familiarity with the art of the region. Her background in classical Sanskrit and Tamil, and knowledge of a range of modern Indian languages has proved invaluable. Her writings have incorporated translations of ancient poetry, and material from unpublished manuscripts, in order to illuminate an artistic milieu. She has explored at length the theoretical basis for the portrayal of visual narratives in the context of India's sculpture and painting, and has examined issues of gender and colonialism. Over time, her work has ranged from Buddhist art of the centuries BC to the esoteric temples of North India, and from the sacred bronzes of the South to the art of British India. Management and curatorial experience at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries provided broader scope to convey the excitement of her field to non-specialist audiences.

Web Sites

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

Masterpieces of Indian Art & Architecture

Selected Publications

Vidya Dehejia & Peter Rockwell, The Unfinished: Stone Carvers at Work on the Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi: Roli Books, 2015

The Body Adorned: Dissolving Boundaries between Sacred and Profane in India's Art, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Ahmedabad: Mapin Publications, 2008. 

Chola. Sacred Bronzes of Southern India. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2006. Catalogue essay "Beauty and the Body of God," and all Catalogue entries.

The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India, New York: The American Federation of Arts, 2002.

India through the Lens: Photography 1840–1911, Washington D.C., Ahmedabad, Cologne: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Mapin Publishing, Prestel Verlag, 2000.

Devi, The Great Goddess: Female Divinity in South Asian Art, Washington D.C., Ahmedabad, Cologne: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Mapin Publishing, Prestel Verlag, 1999.

Love in Asian Art and Culture (Asian Art and Culture Unnumbered), Sackler Art Gallery, 1999.

Indian Art. Art and Ideas, London: Phaidon, 1997, 1998, 2000. French, German, and Japanese versions forthcoming.