London: Visitors to the British Museum will be treated to a six-month long Indian summer, a season dedicated to Indian culture featuring exhibitions, film screenings, installations and performances beginning May,2009.
“‘Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur´, an exhibition which provides a rare opportunity to view 18th and 19th century paintings of outstanding interest and variety never previously seen in Europe, will be a key attraction,” said Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, India of HSBC, the sponsor of the season.
Besides, there would be an India Landscape, a specially commissioned space presenting Indian biodiversity in the Museum’s forecourt in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and a rich and varied public programme.
“There is an enduring fascination with the rich diversity of the art and culture of India. Garden and Cosmos epitomises this diversity through polarities expressed in the paintings, focusing on both the external life of devotion and speculation on the other,” said Neil MacGregor, British Museum Director.
Focusing on the distinctive style of court painting which flourished in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, ‘Garden and Cosmos´ will be held from 28 May to 23 August.
The exhibition will feature 55 works from the Mehrangarh Museum Trust in Jodhpur which has been set up by the erstwhile Maharaja Gaj Singh II.
“These paintings have never been seen in Europe before and are exceptional quality,” Kidwai said.
India Landscape, to be held from 2 May to 28 September, will present the immensely diverse habitats of the Indian subcontinent, taking visitors on a journey from mountainous environment of the Himalayas, through a temperate region and ending in a sub-tropical zone.
There will also be a rich and varied programme of events and activities, featuring public debates, lectures and talks by prominent Indian academics and artists, screenings of award-winning films as well as a wide range of educational activities.
“The Indian Summer will provide a deep insight into the life, history and culture of this fascinating country,” said Stephen Green, Group chairman HSBC Holdings.
“India is a major player in the world market and its cultural contribution here in the UK and around the world continues to grow,” he said.