Specialization: South Asian Art
Marsha Olson is an art historian with a focus on the art and religions of South Asia. Her research focuses on Indo-Portuguese ivory statuettes created in Goa, India, in the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries. She is especially interested in the study of iconography, devotional practice, and how artworks represent the coming together of cultures in their forms.
Select Professional Papers and Presentations
- “Mary on the Moon: Ivory Statuettes of the Virgin Mary from Goa and Sri Lanka.” The Bodhi Tree and the Orchid: A Symposium in Honor of Catherine B. Asher and Frederick M. Asher. February 15, 2014 in Chicago, IL.
- “Introduction” to Ivory Objects from India, Sri Lanka, The Philippines and Southeast Asia. Gallery Exhibition Catalogue for Joost van den Bergh Ltd. Asian Art in London, 2013. (Invited Essay)
- “Voodoo Lilies and Devils’ Tongues: A Visit to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.” Online essay for Quodlibetica, “Constellation 18 – The Icy Issue,” posted February 2012. www.quodlibetica.com.
- Architectural Negotiations: Monuments, Audience and Reception in Pre-Modern and Early Modern India. 39th Annual Conference on South Asia, October 16, 2010. Madison, Wisconsin. (Panel Chair and Organizer)
- “God is in the Details: The Flora and Fauna of Goan Ivory Statuettes.”
- 38th Annual Conference on South Asia. October 24, 2009. Madison, Wisconsin.
- Seeing Time, Seeing Space: Visual Cultures in South Asia.
- 38th Annual Conference on South Asia. October 24, 2009. Madison, Wisconsin. (Panel Chair)
- “Contemplative Immersion: Experiencing Goan Ivories through Darshan and Rasa.”
- American Council for Southern Asian Art Biennial Symposium XIV and “New Darshans: Seeing Southern Asian Religiousity and Visuality Across Disciplines” Conference. October 18, 2009. Denison, Ohio.