Historical period(s)
Pala-Sena dynasty, early 12th century
H x W x D: 10.8 x 4.8 x 4.7 cm (4 1/4 x 1 7/8 x 1 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. David R. Nalin
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture


Bangladesh, bodhisattva, Buddhism, lotus, Pala-Sena dynasty (750 - 1100), Tara

Reportedly 1968-1992
David R. Nalin purchased in East Pakistan (modern-day Bangladesh) [1]

From 1992
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of David Nalin [2]

[1] David R. Nalin is an American physiologist who worked at the Cholera Research Hospital in Dhaka when it was part of Pakistan from 1967 until the Liberation War of 1971, and then again in 1972 after the creation of Bangladesh. Nalin reported that he purchased the sculpture in May 1968, when he worked at the Cholera hospital, see tax form 8283, December 3, 1992, copy in object file. Nalin employed Peter Marks Works of Art to manage his collection. In 1989, Marks provided the Freer Gallery of Art with a "summary of acquisition, ownership, and history" relating to a sculpture now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (NGA89.1365), copy in object file. In the document, Marks instructed that the contents of the document should "apply to any object in the [Nalin] collection." The summary reports that in 1969, Nalin shipped his collection from Dhaka to Chittagong then onto Karachi and finally onto New York. Nalin "assumed[d] that the customs agent[s] handled all clearances and declarations according to the laws and agreements in effect at the time."

In 1971, he loaned this sculpture and several others to the conservation laboratory at the Fogg Art Museum for scientific analysis, see The Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, receipt no. 19068.1-23, June 8, 1971, copy in object file. On this document, this sculpture is described as "2. Pala bronze Tara, standing, 11th c."

[2] See deed of gift, July 21, 1992, copy in accession file.

Research Completed November 14, 2022

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dr. David R. Nalin

Published References
  • Susan L. Huntington, John C. Huntington. Leaves from the Bodhi Tree: The Art of Pala India (8th-12th centuries) and Its International Legacy. Exh. cat. Seattle, London, and Dayton, Ohio. .
  • Pratapaditya Pal. Indian Sculpture: Vol II. vol. 2, Los Angeles: University of California Press. .
  • Medieval Sculpture from Eastern India: Selections from the Nalin Collection. Livingston: Nalini International Publications. 76, 48.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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