University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) is one of the leading and top university art collections in the US, and was established in 1969, with 14,000 objects including Picasso and Braque paintings.
UIMA has collections of ‘murtis’ or idols of Hindu gods, which contours the Hindu religion. The institute museum has a bronze idol of Brahma (creator god), a brass idol of Ganesha (god of wisdom and remover of obstacles), an idol of Lakshmi (goddess of good fortune and beauty) and an idol of Hanuman (god symbolizing strength and devotion). Importantly, the concept of “God” in Hinduism is that of multiple supreme beings who transform and exist in multiple forms.
Hindu Art Collection is religious paraphernalia, used in ceremonies. In the religion, the Hindu gods, the genuine form of a deity’s manifestation, or embodiment of image or icon and their incarnations and embodiment are used in ceremonies and rituals. Reciting of mantras, hymns and other antique related traditional ceremonies and rituals can also prove and demonstrate a good and practical educational knowledge.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also has suggested UIMA even constructing a small Hindu temple within the premises of the Museum. According to him, these idols put look so authentic and real in their appearance that can be a good knowledgeable tool for students, staff, and residents of the university.