Robert T. Rhode

Robert T. Rhode
Robert T. Rhode

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Distinctive Museums 2: The Museum of Spiritual Art (The Malhotra Collection)

The charming town of Franklin, Ohio, situated on the tranquil Miami River, is home to the Museum of Spiritual Art: The Malhotra Collection. (See and Benefactors Ramesh and Chris Malhotra have placed their extensive art collection on exhibit within a historic mansion facing the river.

The Museum of Spiritual Art in Franklin, Ohio

My dear friend and co-author Eleanor Y. Stewart and I were surprised to discover so many galleries of fine art, ably explicated by docent Laureen Catlin. Many three-dimensional pieces, including sculpture and furniture, accompany the extraordinary range of two-dimensional paintings and prints. Throughout the rooms on both stories of the home are items pertaining to the spiritual quest of the human being. By clicking on the links given above, readers can view many of the works, but seeing them within the context of the lovely mansion leads to a meditative state of mind that makes a visit to the museum a spiritual experience in its own right.

Buddha Painted on Cloth

From radiant Buddhas, through telescoping Tibetan horns, through singing bowls that perform as bells, through depictions of birds such as geese and storks, through paintings representing a variety of religions, to portraits of Mother Teresa (a saint in the Catholic faith), the collection is as inspirational as it is educational.

Statue of Ganesha, Son of Parvati, Who Was Shiva's Wife

I found myself lingering over certain pieces, permitting them to move me beyond my petty concerns into realms of reverie. Over the years, I have urged myself to welcome tranquility whenever possible. The Museum of Spiritual Art is a place of such serenity that inner peace can easily be reached.

Tibetan Horns That Can Telescope

Ramesh Malhotra has dedicated himself to offering the possibility of spiritual understanding to as many lives as he can touch. Exploring the links above will convey what I am expressing better than I can express the concept verbally. His outreach to people at home and abroad is remarkable.

Portrait of Ramesh Malhotra

In the Museum of Spiritual Art, many of the works—but not all—are contemporary. At first, I thought the collection would resonate more profoundly by the inclusion of additional historic pieces, but, after the tour was complete, I began to reconsider that the art may be intended to guide present-day viewers through our world that presses in upon us in so many complicated ways. Too much art from ages past might distract viewers from such a meaningful purpose.

Mother Teresa

As the museum offers classes to artists, the facility has an active role to play in the community.

Leaded Glass Window in the Museum of Spiritual Art

When we left the mansion at the end of our tour, the world outside looked lustrous. … and is that not what a fine museum should do: namely, strengthen perception?

Singing Bowl, a Type of Bell
Statue of Bodhisattva
Painting of Storks
Symmetry in Flight
Painting Depicting the Nature of God
The Tranquility of Buddha
Water Buffalo

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