The Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery Extends World Tour of “Garden and Cosmos” to Australia

October 19, 2009
News Release

The international tour of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery’s groundbreaking 2008 exhibition “Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur” will include an additional venue, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The exhibition of 55 newly discovered Indian paintings from the royal court collection of Marwar-Jodhpur (in the modern state of Rajasthan) will be on view in Sydney Oct. 29 – Jan. 26, 2010. “Garden and Cosmos” was at the British Museum through Oct. 11 and widely heralded as one of London’s top exhibitions of the summer.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales will be the fourth venue for the exhibition, which opened in the Sackler Gallery last October and traveled to the Seattle Asian Art Museum before moving to the British Museum in May. The tour will conclude at the National Museum of India in New Delhi in the spring of 2010.

The exhibition has received extensive critical and popular attention, including a royal reception at the British Museum. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales gave opening remarks to patrons and special guests, including His Highness Gaj Singh II, maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur, and Her Highness Maharani Hemlata Rajye.

Debra Diamond, curator of South and Southeast Asian art at the Freer and Sackler galleries, first encountered the paintings as a doctoral student in India in the 1980s. Virtually none of the paintings had been published or seen by scholars before the Sackler exhibition. Produced for the pleasure of the maharajas between 1725 and 1843, the works are strikingly innovative in their large scale, subject matter and styles, revealing the conceptual sophistication of the royal atelier and the kingdom’s engagement with the changing political landscapes of early modern India.

Diamond collaborated with Karni Singh Jasol, director of the Mehrangarh Museum, and Catherine Glynn, an independent scholar of Rajput painting, to produce the exhibition and its accompanying comprehensive catalog. More than 50 of the works presented were lent to the Sackler Gallery by His Highness Gaj Singh II from the Mehrangarh Museum Trust. Selected paintings are also on loan from the National Museum of India. 

“Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur” was organized by the Sackler Gallery in collaboration with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, India. The exhibition has received support from Air India, The Boeing Company, Tata, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Embassy of India to the United States.

For more information about the international tour of “Garden and Cosmos” call
(202) 633-0504.

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other events, the public is welcome to visit www.asia.si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285.

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SI-381-2009

Media Only

Amanda Williams

(202) 633-0271

Deborah Galyan

(202) 633-0504