US capital begins two-year ‘Celebration of India’

April 18th, 2008 - 11:03 am ICT by admin  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 18 (IANS) India’s rich artistic and cultural legacy will be on display at Washington’s National Mall during a two-year “Celebration of India” starting with an annual fund-raising gala of two American art institutions April 30. Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will showcase India’s rich artistic heritage with two exhibitions: “Muraqqa: Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin” and “Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur”.

Funds raised at the gala will benefit the galleries by supporting the exhibitions “Muraqqa” and “Garden and Cosmos”, ImaginAsia family workshops, and other public programmes that highlight the art and culture of Asia.

“Muraqqa”, on view May 3 - Aug 3, features 86 Mughal paintings and manuscripts commissioned by emperors Jehangir (1605-1627) and Shah Jahan (1627-1658) from the renowned collections of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland, and the Freer Gallery of Art.

More than 250 guests from across the globe, including senior government officials, members of Congress, business leaders and leading patrons of the international art world, will have a private viewing of this remarkable collection of jewel-like masterpieces.

Private events for the “Celebration of India” resume Oct 16, with a grand dinner commemorating the opening of “Garden and Cosmos” and “India! A Festival of Lights”, a multifaceted festival that takes place Oct 17-19 and features folk music from western Rajasthan, gallery talks and tours, storytelling and puppet workshops.

India’s ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen will attend the gala. Former maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur, Gaj Singh II, will be the special guest for the evening. The Tata Group is the corporate chair of the gala.

The gala opens with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and includes a black-tie, sit-down dinner, followed by entertainment in the Freer courtyard by Glen Pearson Productions and musical performances on the Asian santoor and sitar instruments throughout the evening by Roya Bahrami and Alif Laila.

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