The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is now open to all visitors six days per week from 11am to 5pm (except on Mondays). For more information about access to the Vassar campus please consult VassarTogether.

Charles Loring Elliott, Portrait of Matthew Vassar, 1861

In the News

On view at the Art Center, India in Miniature: Works from the Permanent Collection

Selected from Matthew Vassar’s founding gifts and later alumnae donations, this exhibition presents a microcosm of miniature painting from India. These paintings, usually produced to be bound together in manuscripts or albums, are small-scale opaque watercolors often embellished with gold or paired with calligraphy. Among Vassar’s collection are popular compositions in a rich spectrum of colors, patterns, and types.

Between the late sixteenth and late nineteenth centuries, the period during which this art form flourished, a panoply of imperial, regional, and colonial states rose and fell across North India. In this dynamic context, artists and connoisseurs moved from court to court. Their production and exchange of images made a vast array of artistic, literary, religious, and political references legible across time and space. Invigorated and inspired by these contacts, local idioms flourished.

Dutch botanicals, Sino-Persian clouds, Indian war elephants, Judeo-Christian angels, Rajput princes, European linear perspective, Central Asian mounted archers, British colonials, and Hindu yogis mingle in these scenes. Some of Vassar’s paintings come from imperial centers like Delhi, Agra, or Lahore; most originated in the semi-independent kingdoms of the Punjab hills, Malwa plateau, or Rajasthan. Amidst this considerable diversity, all celebrate the wonders of creation and immanence of the divine; the virtues of self-control; and the joys of connoisseurship and courtly life.

Beyond the finished picture, this exhibition also includes workshop drawings and a page of exploratory sketches that reveal the working methods of artists creating the paintings. Stock scenes met popular demand for established iconography and ideally proportioned figures. Paintings of gods and kings were more than mere illustrations: correctly depicted, they were powerful talismans. Ragamala paintings, too, used standardized iconography to help viewers physically experience the essential moods of the musical modes they evoked. Talented artists nevertheless found plenty of scope to innovate, packing their paintings with unexpected allusions and layered meanings that challenged and delighted connoisseurs.  

Organized by the Art Center with Julie E. Hughes, Assistant Professor of History. Thanks to Marika Sardar; Divya Cherian; Hamid Reza Ghelichkhani; Lars Odland '17; and Irfan Badruddin '20.

This exhibition is on view through April 23, 2017.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, February 13, 2017

Public Hours

Tuesday 11am–5pm
Wednesday 11am–5pm
Thursday 11am–5pm
Friday 11am–5pm
Saturday 11am–5pm
Sunday 11am–5pm


Please note that all visitors are asked to wear masks in the galleries.


Admission is free and open to all. All galleries are wheelchair accessible.


Parking is on Raymond Avenue only. Please enter via the Pavilion immediately inside the Archway entrance to the campus.

Students & Faculty

Consult the Teaching & Learning section of the VassarTogether page for information about visiting the Loeb during the week.

Please note that weekend hours are restricted to the general public only.


The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

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