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Seattle Art Museum Presents Peacock In The Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India

Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India (October 18, 2018–January 21, 2019), showcasing five centuries of artistic creation from the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust of Jodhpur, the exhibition features 250 objects from the 16th to the mid-20th century including intricate paintings, decorative arts, elaborate tents, canopies, textiles, jewelry, and weapons, presented with photos and videos that evoke the impressive setting of the Mehrangarh Museum.

Seattle Art MuseumSeattle Art Museum Presents Peacock In The Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India

Peacock in the Desert presents a vision of a cosmopolitan court culture that relies on art as an essential aspect of its rule. Established in the 15th century, the city of Jodhpur was ruled by the Rathores for over seven centuries. The objects on view, many of which have not been seen beyond palace walls or traveled to the United States, tell the story of this vast desert kingdom.

The exhibition traces the kingdom’s cultural landscape as it was continuously reshaped by cross-cultural encounters, notably by two successive empires who ruled India: the Mughals and the British. These encounters introduced objects, artists, languages, architectural styles, and systems of administration that influenced the complex royal identity of the Rathore dynasty.
His Highness Maharaja GajSingh II of Marwar-Jodhpur established the Mehrangarh Museum Trust in 1972 and has overseen its evolution from a historic fort to a popular destination for visitors to Jodhpur from around the world. Both he and his daughter, Baijilal Shivranjani Rajye of Marwar-Jodhpur, will visit Seattle to see the exhibition in October.
SAM previously collaborated with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust on the popular exhibition Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur (January 29–April 26, 2009) at the Asian Art Museum.
“Peacock in the Desert opens an evocative window on the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur,” says Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to present an experience of this multi-faceted court culture to Seattle audiences.”
“The city of Jodhpur is not frozen in time, and royalty is not just about bling and splendor,” says Karni Singh Jasol, director of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust. “Ours is a museum of the 21st century, dedicated to promoting awareness of a vibrant and hard-working royal endeavor. With this exhibition, visitors have the opportunity to experience the colors, sights, and sounds of our unique culture, as well as our history of continual patronage throughout the centuries.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, Seattle Art Museum will present a dynamic lineup of programming, including Art Beyond Sight and docent tours, programs for schools and educators, and a series of public programs co-presented with SAM’s Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas as well as community partners. The programs will highlight performance, visual art and community traditions from Rajasthan. A free community celebration, featuring a curator talk, will be held on Thursday, October 18. SAM will also host an exciting edition of its Diwali Ball, an annual fundraising event being held this year on Saturday, October 20.
Museum Hours

  • Closed Monday and Tuesday
  • Wednesday 10 am-5 pm
  • Thursdays 10 am-9 pm
  • Friday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm

Holiday Hours

  • Closed Thursday November 22 (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Open Friday November 23 (day after Thanksgiving)
  • Closed Monday December 24 (Christmas Eve)
  • Closed Tuesday December 25 (Christmas Day)
  • Additional holiday hours may be announced.

Daily Prices

  • $24.95 Adult
  • $22.95 Senior (62+), Military (with ID)
  • $14.95 Student (with ID), Teen (13–17)
  • FREE for children (12 and under)
  • FREE for SAM Members
  • First Thursday Reduced Ticket Prices

Special Exhibition ticket prices are reduced by more than 50% on the first Thursday of the month. Tickets to SAM Collections and Installations are free.
Head to visitsam.org/peacock for the most up-to-date ticketing information.
Read more Events at Bellevue Business Journal.