Private Sikh art collecting in the United States has seen notable interest in recent years, with popular exhibitions and permanent galleries on Sikh art and life in the country. This study visits some of the key Sikh American individuals who collect Sikh art in the United States, and explores their motivations for, methods, and networks of collecting. We find a range of reasons why they collect, from protecting and promoting Sikh heritage in the United States, to piecing together a Sikh history that recognizes the trauma of migration and xenophobia. This study offers a decolonial lens with which to understand art and art collecting through the concept of seva (service) to the Sikh community, a feminist lens to collecting, and ideas for displaying Sikh art. The continuation of this research promises exciting discoveries in a growing space of diaspora collecting, artists, and museums.


Derderian, Elizabeth


Sociology and Anthropology


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Sikhism, art, collecting, diaspora, decolonization, display

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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