The Definitive Guide to Houston

Tag archive

Houston art

Experience the Royal Treasures of Jodhpur, India, Never Before Seen Beyond Palace Walls

in Art & Culture/Things To Do by
Pavilion (Baradari), 19th century. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Now through August 19, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is host to a trove of royal treasures from the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur, a princely state in northwest India. The unprecedented new exhibition, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India showcases the artistic legacy of the Jodhpur court across nearly four centuries.

A dazzling number of courtly and ceremonial objects fills the sprawling exhibition space, which spans five galleries and Cullinan Hall in the Caroline Wiess Law Building. Intricate arms and armor, glittering jewelry, lush textiles and furnishings, and a diverse selection of paintings converge to provide an immersive experience for museum-goers. Clever juxtapositions characterize the exhibition—more than once, viewers will find themselves admiring a jewel or dagger in a display case, only to notice the same piece depicted in a painting hanging nearby.

Maharaja Takhat Singh on a Hunt with Royal Women, c. 1853. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Peacock in the Desert is the result of five years’ collaboration between Dr. Mahrukh Tarapor, senior advisor for international initiatives at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Dr. Karni Singh Jasol, director of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur; the late Martand Singh, chief consultant from the Mehrangarh Museum Trust; and Dr. Angma Dey Jhala, associate professor at Bentley University. That the team consists entirely of Indian nationals is no accident. “We wanted this exhibition to represent an Indian point of view, and it does,” affirmed MFAH director Gary Tinterow.

Tarapor credits Indian royalty, such as that of His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II, whose private collection forms the bulk of the exhibition, with helping to keep the Indian culture and artistic traditions on display at the exhibition alive. “I went to an Irish-Catholic boarding school in South India,” she explained. “I learned about the French Revolution; I learned about the Magna Carta; I learned about the American Revolution; I did not learn about India.” Peacock in the Desert, then, is an opportunity both to celebrate India’s overlooked cultural traditions, and to introduce their majesty to a brand new audience.

“We show what it was to be a member of the royal court, whether you arrived on an elephant in a howdah or whether you departed in a Rolls Royce or an airplane,” Tinterow said, referencing the immense breadth and scope of the materials on display. “From my perspective,” he adds, “this is one of the most spectacular exhibitions ever organized by any museum, anywhere.”

(Left) Throne with parasol; (Right) Page from the exhibition catalogue. Both Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
(Left) Throne with parasol; (Right) Spread from the exhibition catalogue. Both Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Peacock in the Desert is on display through August 19. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 12:15 to 7 p.m.

A special Gallery Concert at Cullinan Hall scheduled for March 15 will feature a free performance from Sitar musician Aaron Hermes. On April 6, a special late-night party celebrates the exhibition with performances by Karsh Kale, DJ Sun, and DJ Yogi-G, specialty cocktails, and Indian fusion cuisine; tickets are available online. Members of the Asian art curatorial team will lead an exclusive tour of the exhibition on May 14; tickets are $65.

Featured photo: Pavilion (Baradari), 19th century. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Houston Artist Loida Wexler Featured at Urban Eats

in Art & Culture/Dining & Nightlife by
Loida Wexler Urban Eats

The work of Houston artist (and St. Thomas alum) Loida Wexler will be recognized at a reception hosted by local restaurant Urban Eats on Saturday, February 24. The popular Washington Ave spot is known for its made-in-house specialties and its commitment to locally-sourced ingredients. Ms. Wexler’s appearance is part of their “Urban Arts” series of exhibitions celebrating up-and-coming artists alongside artisanal, local food.

Keep Reading

World Class Art Debuts at Art of the World Gallery

in Art & Culture/Things To Do by
Refugio | Photo courtesy Jorge Jiménez Deredia and Art of the World Gallery

Experience the magical work of leading Latin American sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia at the debut of his latest exhibition in one of Houston’s premier contemporary art hubs, Art of the World Gallery. The anticipated exhibition, titled Cosmic Energy in the Sculpture of Jiménez Deredia, premieres Thursday, January 18 and will feature 17 of the artist’s works.

Keep Reading

An Evening with Frank Stella

in Art & Culture/Things To Do by
Photo by Morris Malakoff, The CKP Group

As the fourth-largest and most diverse city in the nation, Houston offers plenty in the way of culture. Even so, it’s not often that a modern American master comes to town for an evening conversation.

Keep Reading

Experience CAMH’s Newest Exhibition, “Christopher Knowles: In A Word”

in Art & Culture/Things To Do by
CAMH, Christopher Knowles: In A Word

Last night, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) debuted their latest exhibition, a comprehensive survey of Brooklyn-based artist Christopher Knowles. The show, Christopher Knowles: In A Word, paints a broad picture of the artist’s work, brushing across text, sound, painting, drawing, sculpture, and recorded performance.

Keep Reading

Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950

in Art & Culture by

The most comprehensive compilation of Mexican modern art in the United States in 70 years has landed in Space City, bringing with it masterpieces by Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and many more.

Keep Reading

Go to Top