Whew! Over the past month, museum exhibition staff have concentrated all their effort on getting the exhibition Maharaja installed and ready for your admiring eyes. And I have to tell you, this exhibition is full of fabulous objects with incredible stories. Be prepared for the promised bling, and for some unexpected surprises.
We kicked off the install by opening the museum up to the outside world, literally. The Maharaja object list includes a silver carriage and an enormous painting that are too large to navigate the many turns between the museum’s loading dock and the exhibition galleries. Our solution: bring them through a window instead. Check out this cool time-lapse video of the carriage crate entering the building and its subsequent unpacking.
Among the most time-consuming objects to install were the many dazzling costumes worn by maharajas and maharanis. Above, textile conservators dress a manikin in an elegant 1930s sari made for Princess Niloufer Khanum of Hyderabad.
While we often think of traditional Indian paintings as exquisite but small, Maharaja includes a number of larger format paintings. Here, an oil painting of Madhu Rao II Narayan is unpacked and prepared for hanging.
Now that we’ve finished unpacking, condition checking, and installing the artworks we can begin applying the finishing touches. Our team will work on perfecting labels and signage, lighting cases to maximize their impact, and otherwise preparing for a dazzling opening.
Learn more about the exhibition Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, on view October 21, 2011 – April 8, 2012
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