As assistant manager and buyer for the museum shop, Courtland Cleland wears a lot of hats. From customer service to merchandising to—as his title implies—purchasing items for the shop. With all of his responsibilities, it’s no wonder that his favorite work in the museum is a depiction of the Hindu god Ganesha, known for helping people streamline their lives.
“My favorite piece in the museum’s collection is the sandstone image of Seated Ganesha. I’ve always been drawn to him because he is the bringer of wealth and remover of obstacles. We all have some obstacles that we’d like removed and who couldn’t use a little extra wealth? I like how the curve plays a major role in this sculpture. The curve of his pose adds movement, the curve of his large belly gives dimension and looks fleshy. I almost want to poke his belly with my finger like the Pillsbury Doughboy—of course I would never touch a priceless work of art, or a beloved baked goods mascot! Overall, it’s a whimsical and playful depiction of a complex character.”