(KTSF by Sean Au)
From a life-size portrait of a Maharaja, it is easy to imagine the qualities this Indian king possessed and the respect and fear that he might have commanded.
Also in the exhibit, an exquisitely tailored wedding gown. One of the shiniest exhibits would have to be this tailor-made Cartier necklace made with diamonds and precious stones, the largest the jeweler has ever been commissioned to do.
“Maharaja” the exhibit, occupies three exhibition halls in Asian Art Museum, providing a good understanding of life in the Indian royal courts over three centuries, until Britain’s colonization eroded the influence of the Maharajas.
This exhibition took four years to plan and all artifacts come from museum and private collections from Britain and India. They are displayed for the first time in the United States.
This horse carriage, made in 1915, provided the museum with the biggest challenge when mounting the exhibits. Director of the Asian Art Museum Jay Xu shares, “The carriage is too big. It could not come through the museum’s doors, so we have to remove the glass wall behind it to bring it in. The artifacts are extremely important. It’s one of the biggest exhibitions we’ve put on.”
Maharaja, the exhibition, closes in April 2012.
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