Asian art show in US adds Indian musical weekend
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Asian art show in US adds Indian musical weekend

The 'Inspired by India' event will take place during the Sep 16-18 at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2005 11:05 IST

The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art here is hosting a three-day musical and storytelling performances from India and a lecture to complement its new South Asia and Himalaya galleries.

The "Inspired by India" event will take place during the Sep 16-18 weekend.

The Freer, which with the Sackler constitute the national museum of the arts of Asia, will host the musical and storytelling performances. The lecture will be by curator Deborah Diamond.

"Listen as musicians direct from Folk Arts Rajasthan recite oral histories of Indian kings, share insights into Indian cultural heritage, and bring to life the stories seen in the Rajput paintings in the Freer Gallery," an inviting flyer from the organisers said.

"Experience the vitality and freshness of one of India's youngest classical music stars (master of Indian flutes, Shashank). At age 12, Shashank appeared at the prestigious conference of the Music Academy in Chennai. He has since performed south Indian classical music in 25 countries and released 28 recordings."

"Inspired by India" complements the long-term ongoing show "Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas" at the Freer.

"Inspired by India" weekends are made possible by Margaret and John Haldeman; Doris Weiner and family; Marion and Ashok Deshmukh; Arun and Rama Deva; Hart and Nancy Fessenden; Ranvir and Adarsh Trehan; Ashok and Stuti Kaveeshwar; and Kenneth and Joyce Robbins.

"I am over my head in love with India!" said Charles Lang Freer, founder of the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art, in an 1894 letter he wrote home from his first trip to the subcontinent.

He brought home hundreds of objects from that and subsequent trips, which he bequeathed to the nation. Many of them were languishing in storage for lack of display space.

Now, visitors to the gallery are able to share Freer's enthusiasm at its new long-term installation, showcasing the extraordinary range of South Asian and Himalayan art in the collection, -- numbering over 1,200 objects -- considered to be among the most important in the world.

Increasing by half the space previously devoted to this region and expanding the scope of works on view, the exhibition includes sublimely beautiful Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and Islamic art objects.

Also among the masterpieces are Mughal and Rajput paintings and lavishly decorated court arts and daggers made for the Mughal emperors.

Divided into several sections, the Buddhist art charts the emergence of the Buddha image in India and its transmission throughout Asia and includes fine Buddhist images from Nepal, Tibet, Southeast Asia and China.

Several Rajput paintings on the theme of love, which demonstrate the bold colours and rhythmic compositions of the Hindu courts, are also on view.

Exquisitely crafted, imposing late 19th to early 20th century examples of gold jewellery complete the exhibition.

First Published: Sep 05, 2005 11:05 IST