Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India

May 26, 2018 - August 19, 2018
Recurring daily
1001 Bissonnet Street | Houston, TX 77005
Area of Town: Museum District

Centuries of royal treasures from India come to the United States for the first time in an epic presentation. Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India features masterpieces and relics—never before seen beyond palace walls—that illustrate the history and artistic legacy of the Rathore dynasty.

The exhibition showcases nearly four centuries of artistic creation from the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Lavishly made ceremonial objects; finely crafted arms and armor; sumptuous jewels; intricately carved furnishings; a monumental 17th-century court tent; a 1944 L-5 Sentinel aircraft, and more outline the dynamic history of the Marwar-Jodhpur region and the Rathore dynasty that ruled it for more than 700 years.

Some 250 objects from Indian courtly life illuminate how the Rathores acquired and commissioned objects amidst cross-cultural exchanges to leverage patronage, diplomacy, matrimonial alliances, trade, and conquest. Drawn primarily from the collections of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the private collections of the royal family of Jodhpur, Peacock in the Desert includes textiles, tapestries, ceremonial regalia, paintings, jewels, furniture, tents, canopies, carpets, and weapons. Large-scale photomurals evoke the stunning setting of the Mehrangarh Museum in Jodhpur.

Peacock in the Desert is presented concurrently with Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs, on view in the Beck Building. This retrospective features work by visionary Indian photographer Raghubir Singh spanning the 1960s to 1990s.

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