The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) in partnership with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust of Jodhpur organised the exhibition titled ‘Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India’, will be open to the public until August 12 in Houston and then be travelling to Seattle in the fall and then Toronto.
A treasure trove from Jodhpur’s Rathore dynasty in India was put on display at an exhibition centre, United States for the first time, in an epic presentation. At the exhibition, through lavishly made ceremonial objects, finely crafted arms and armour, jewels and intricately carved furnishings and more from Indian courtly life illuminate how the Rathores (of Marwar) acquired and commissioned objects during the cross-cultural exchanges to leverage patronage, diplomacy, trade, matrimonial alliances, and conquest.
The Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India exhibition outlines the dynamic history of the Jodhpur, Marwar region and the Rathore dynasty that ruled it for over seven centuries (around 700 years).
More than 300 detailed objects, that have never seen before beyond palace walls have been set for showcase. Many are signature which are in possessions of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust. In the early 1970s, to protect the treasures his ancestors commissioned from the 17th to the early-20th centuries, His Highness GajSingh Ji II, the current Maharaja of Marwar region (Jodhpur) of Rajasthan, established Mehrangarh Museum Trust.
Begun in 1459 as a military stronghold, the fort and its palaces – ornately carved from red sandstone – house and other treasures are owned and preserved by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust of Jodhpur.
Digital renderings of palace walls and large projections enhance the viewing experience at the Museum. The landmark show brings nearly four centuries worth of treasures from the Jodhpur-Marwar Kingdom, to light and explore the patronage of a single royal Indian house in depth for the first time.
Grand paintings, devotional objects, weapons, jewellery, carved furnishings, room settings and vehicles, including a 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom and a 1940’s Stinson LF Sentinal Airplane arrayed across five galleries of the Houston museum.
The exhibition is drawn primarily from the collections of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the private collections of the erstwhile royal family of Jodhpur. Most of these spectacular objects are on display outside their palace setting for the very first time.
The director of MFAH, Gary Tinterow said that “We are deeply honoured and grateful to be the first U.S. organization to present this show and for the opportunity to provide visitors with this unprecedented experience of India’s rich cultural history.”
On the opening ceremony of the exhibition Royal Arts of Jodhpur, special appearances have given by H.H. Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji, Baijilal Shivranjani Raje, Deepak Vaidya, the director of Mehrangarh museum trust Karni Singh Jasol.
The exhibition gives a rare peek into the riches of the Maharajas and Maharanis of the Marwar’s Rathore Dynasty. Visitors will learn more about the Rathore clan and its history, view a model of the Mehrangarh Fort, turbans that are worn by the desert (Marwar) communities, and imagine and feel the royal life through pages of illuminated manuscripts.
Exhibition Admission Fees
Tickets, available online and on-site, include access to the Museum’s art collections.
|Senior (65+ with ID), Military (with ID),
College Student (19+ with ID), Youth (13–18)
|Child (12 & younger)||Free|
(Image Courtesy: Houston Chronicle)