Archive

Posts Tagged ‘India’

British Museum’s Free Exhibition

February 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Given to the British Museum in 1905 by Perceval Landon (a friend of Rudyard Kipling), the museum is exhibiting the Vrindavani Vastra woven textile from the 21st of January until the 15th of August. This is a free exhibit and open to the public.

This late 17th century silk textile is woven with a technique that no longer exists in India today. Extending over a length of more than 9 meters, the textile shows different scenes of the life of Krishna and a verse from the Bhagavata Purana, a 10th century text.

textile_624

Additional items from this period will also be displayed alongside the textile.

More information can be found by clicking the following link : Indian Textile at British Museum

Cheers,

Elisabeth and Natasha

 

Strange and Wondrous

November 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Prints of India from the Robert J. Del Bonta Collection

October 19, 2013–January 5, 2014

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery/Smithsonian Institution

http://www.asia.si.edu/explore/del-bonta/default.asp

As global travel boomed from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, Europeans and Americans became increasingly fascinated with Indian culture. Merchants, soldiers, and missionaries documented their visits to India and other foreign lands in illustrated accounts. Created using such techniques as engraving, aquatint, lithography, and photogravure, these subjects and designs were easily duplicated, and copies circulated widely. Publishers regularly edited, amended, or simply reprinted them in publications as varied as atlases, memoirs, and history books.

The spread of these images led to broader knowledge and interest in Indian culture—but also to the creation and proliferation of negative stereotypes. Ascetics, or religious figures who renounce material comforts, were depicted over the years as supernatural beings, devout penitents, militants, tricksters, and beggars. Religious ceremonies were interpreted within a Christian framework instead of a Hindu one, leading to misconceptions of devotees as sinners or fanatics. With the aid of Indian art, deities were catalogued as lovers, drug users, and creators of the cosmos, which fed generalizations of India as a sensual, spiritual land.

The fifty artworks in Strange and Wondrous, from the encyclopedic Robert J. Del Bontà collection, show how certain ascetics and Hindu practices became emblems for all that Europeans and Americans found exotic, repulsive, or remarkable in India. By tracing how these images were interpreted and reproduced over time, the exhibition also demonstrates how perceptions of Indian culture shifted through the centuries, from the Enlightenment to the colonial period and Christian missionary movement, and into modernity. Together these prints reveal structures of the European and American imagination as much as they encapsulate conceptions of India.

 

india

Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natalie

RADICAL TERRAIN : MODERNIST ART FROM INDIA

November 16, 2012 – April 29, 2013
RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART
NYC
One of my favorite museums, the Rubin Museum of Art, famous for having the largest  collection of religious art from cultures of the Himalayas, including Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan as well as related cultures from India, Mongolia and China, is presenting the final of a three-part series of Modernist Art from India. The exhibition highlights art after independence, with paintings showing how the vast landscape of India is viewed by artists.  Modernist paintings from India – might be viewed as a contradiction but the West has no monopoly on Modernism. India has a complex history of modern art, starting in the early 20th century with the  Bengal School of Art centered in Calcutta/Kolkata and led by Abanindranath Tagore, a nephew of the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore. In the 1930s and 40s individual art schools flourished in Bombay, Baroda, Madras and  New Delhi.
The show was curated by Beth Citron and includes paintings by Lisi Raskin, Marc Handelman, Seher Shah, and Janaina Tschaepe, Krishna Shamrao Kulkarni, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan, S. H. Raza and others — all showing a variety of abstract and figural landscapes often  with a social and  political perspective.
 Image
Untitled, S. H Raza, 1956; Oil and mixed media on canvas
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

JALIS — OR OPENWORK CARVINGS — FROM MUGHAL INDIA

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment
If you  have ever felt a cool or cooling breeze in India you may have reclined behind a screened window or door carved of wood, sandstone or marble. I have last noticed these openwork carvings in Jaipur.
EXHIBITIONS AT TWO LONDON GALLERIES
 
THE GALLERIES OWNED BY SAM FOGG AND FRANCESCA GALLOWAY 
are sharing an exhibition of JALIS- openwork carvings in sandstone or marble.
The carvings were found in a barn in  a British country home.
I am not sure if these exhibits are still open but here are the websites:
The carvings are said to come mainly from Delhi and Agra.
The carved design motifs are mainly  soft geometric and some of them are with brief quotations from the Koran.
The photos are from the two galleries.
If you cannot make it to London, you may find  similar carvings at the new Islamic wings  at the Metropolitan Museum  in New York and the Louvre in Paris.
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha
 

DIWALI FESTIVAL OF LIGTHS

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment
CELEBRATE THE INDIAN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS  IN NEW YORK’S ONLY HIMALAYAN MUSEUM 
THE RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART 

For the occasion the Rubin offers bhangra dancing, special mask making, Indian refreshments and many Diwali surprises.
I am always intrigued by the many publications the Rubin Museum of Art produces and here is a link you should check out: http://www.rmanyc.org/uploads/documents/RMA_Catalog_Collection_08_2012.pdf
I have and love the following books/catalogues: BON: THE MAGIC  WORD, DEMONIC DIVINE, FEMALE BUDDHAS, and HOLY MADNESS. Very tempting titles – don’t you think? 
While you are at the Rubin, visit SERAI, the new gift shop and dining experience designed with the atmosphere of the Silk Road in mind– I know the gift shop is open — not sure about the dining area.
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

Art for a Modern India

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

If you are in or near  Charlottesville, VA,  I suggest you go to Rebecca Brown’s presentation. She is a South Asian art historian specializing in 18th and 19th century visual culture and politics, and   heavily engaged with Asian and South Asian Studies, has written extensively for professional journals and her most recent book  was published in 2009 – Art for a Modern India.

TWENTY TONS OF TIBETAN SOIL TRANSPORTED TO DHARAMSALA

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment
If you cannot return to your country, then……….
 

TWENTY TONS OF TIBETAN SOIL TRANSPORTED TO DHARAMSALA

 
  
 
On October 26th, the artist Tenzing Rigdol transported 20 tones of soil from Tibet to Dharamsala in India, where the Dalai Lama resides and the Tibetan government-in-exile. It was a special treat for many  Tibetans born outside Tibet, to step on Tibetan soil. Later on  thousands of visitors were invited to “dismantle” the installation by taking some Tibetan soil away with them.

LADAKH IN THE NEWS

November 16, 2011 Leave a comment

LADAKH IN THE NEWS

Until my son went to Ladakh I had no idea where it was.
 
Ladakh is part of northern and eastern Kashmir, northwestern India, and administratively is divided between Pakistan and India. It lies between the Kunlun mountains in the north and the Himalayas to the south. It is often called “little Tibet” because it is strongly influenced by Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism.  My son went to Leh a few years ago which is the largest town in Ladakh. 
 
THE CENTRAL ASIAN MUSEUM IN LEH
 
held a preview opening on August 23rd, 2011, and is scheduled to open officially in July 2012. It came about through major international cooperation, with major help from  Saleem Beg, Director of J & K tourism, the Ladakhi historian Abdul Ghani, was designed by  Andre Alexander, co-director of the Tibetan Heritage Fund, and was constructed with the help of Habitat Unit, School of Architecture, Berlin University of Technology, and with the help of local artisans and volunteers. 
 
 The October 2011 Orientation magazine has a detailed article about this museum.   You can also read more at  http://tibetheritagefund.org/pages/projects/ladakh/central-asian-museum.php
 
The museum is situated in the Tsas Soma gardens, at the former crossroads of Central Asian caravan routes. Ladakh was an important place during the caravan trade- until the occupation of Tibet in the 1950s. 
 
The building resembles a Tibetan-Ladakhi fortress tower but inside it displays cultural objects from  Tibetan, Hindu, Muslim and Ladakhi  culture. The ground floor ( first floor for Americans)  serves to put Ladakh into its geographical, historical and cultural context. The first floor (or second floor)  houses textiles and trade items from  Central Asia illustrating  Muslim culture from Kashmir, Xinjiang and Uzbekistan. The second floor (or third floor)  focuses on Tibet and Ladakh’s Buddhist past. The third floor is built as an example of Baltistani architecture. I assume this refers to the Balti, an ethnic group with Tibetan roots in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, Kashmir. 
 
 
HEAVENLY HIMALAYAS:THE MURALS OF MANGYU AND OTHER DISCOVERIES IN LADAKH
A book by Peter van Ham

Published by  Prestel, Munich, Berlin, London, New York, 12010
Manguy is a small village in western Ladakh. The book is extensively illustrated and focuses on Buddhist iconography in connection with wall paintings and painted surfaces of main statues found in temples, towers and stupas in this village.  My favorite book store – paragonbook.com  has the book.

PHOTOGRAPHS by Linnaeus Tripe!

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

IF YOU MISSED BEING  IN INDIA AND BURMA IN THE MID 1800’s  here is the next best thing —PHOTOGRAPHS  by  Linnaeus Tripe!

Sotheby’s London to offer important newly discovered and unseen early photographs by Linnaeus  

 

 

LONDON.- Sotheby’s London announced that it will offer for sale a remarkable group of more than 220 newly-discovered photographs by Linnaeus Tripe depicting India and Burma in the mid-1850s, including 42 images of which no other prints are recorded, and five previously unknown photographs. Tripe was one of the greatest photographers working in India in the 19th Century and this is the largest single collection of his photographs ever to have been offered for sale. Tripe’s Views of Mysore of 1854 (estimated at £100,000-200,000) and his Views of Burma of 1855 (estimated at £200,000-300,000*) are highlights of Sotheby’s Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History Sale on 15th November 2011. These extraordinary photographs were presented by Tripe to the Governor-General of India, the 1st Marquess of Dalhousie, and have come by descent to the present owner. They have not been seen by scholars for 150 years and are being offered for sale for the first time. Read More

 

TORSO OF THE BUDDHA

Nelson-Atkins Museum loans its priced TORSO OF THE BUDDHA to Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St.Louis for is exhibition REFLECTIONS OF THE BUDDHA

September 9, 2011 to March 10, 2012


The Nelson-Atkins is famous for is Asian art collection and especially for its Buddhist sculptural pieces. The Torso of the Buddha is considered one of the best Buddhist sculptures outside India. When I got involved with Asian art,  I studied the pieces at the Nelson Atkins first acquired under Laurence Sickman who has been associated with the museum since 1931  and was its director from 1953 to 1977.

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts shows masterpieces of the greatest Buddhist sculptures and hanging scrolls in the United States, representing several major traditions and sites of production from the late 2nd to the 18th century, including pieces from Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, and India. It is remarkable that so many substantial pieces can be admired in one place.