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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India

Sunday, Mar. 4, 2018 – Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018

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Centuries of royal treasures from India come to the United States for the first time in an epic presentation. Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India features masterpieces and relics—never before seen beyond palace walls—that illustrate the history and artistic legacy of the Rathore dynasty.

The exhibition showcases nearly four centuries of artistic creation from the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Lavishly made ceremonial objects; finely crafted arms and armor; sumptuous jewels; intricately carved furnishings; a monumental 17th-century court tent; a 1944 L-5 Sentinel aircraft, and more outline the dynamic history of the Marwar-Jodhpur region and the Rathore dynasty that ruled it for more than 700 years.

Some 250 objects from Indian courtly life illuminate how the Rathores acquired and commissioned objects amidst cross-cultural exchanges to leverage patronage, diplomacy, matrimonial alliances, trade, and conquest. Drawn primarily from the collections of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the private collections of the royal family of Jodhpur, Peacock in the Desert includes textiles, tapestries, ceremonial regalia, paintings, jewels, furniture, tents, canopies, carpets, and weapons. Large-scale photomurals evoke the stunning setting of the Mehrangarh Museum in Jodhpur.

Presented concurrently with Peacock in the Desert is Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs, on view through June 3. The retrospective features work by visionary Indian photographer Raghubir Singh spanning the 1960s to 1990s.

► Audio Tour
The optional audio tour provides commentary from the exhibition curator, members of the royal family, and other experts on Indian art and culture. Audio-tour players, based on availability, are located at the exhibition entrance. Offered in both English and Spanish.

► Publication
The illustrated exhibition catalogue is available through the MFA Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum’s Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).

► Exhibition Admission
Tickets, available online and on-site, include access to the Museum’s art collections.

Make It a Combo! Save when you combine your tickets to Peacock in the Desert with admission to The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta and/or Michelangelo and the Vatican. A two-exhibition combo pack is $30—and, during Spring Break (March 11–18), a combo pack for all three exhibitions is still just $30! Learn more about combo tickets.

HOURS & ADMISSION

  • Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Sunday, 12:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Monday: Closed (Except Monday Holidays). Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • General Admission

    • MFAH Members FREE
    • Adults $15
    • Seniors (65+ with ID) $10
    • Military (with ID) $10
    • College Students (19+ with ID) $7.50
    • Youth (13–18) $7.50
    • Children (12 & younger) FREE
    • Certain special exhibitions are ticketed, with an additional charge.
    On Thursday, general admission is free for everyone.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Visit mfah.org/parking for complete parking info, including a map you can download.

    Two Parking Garages        

    Parking Garage Hours

    Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Parking Garage Fees

    • Parking payments may be made only with major credit cards, or with MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    • The first 30 minutes are always free. On Thursday, parking is free for visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
    • For hourly rates, go to mfah.org/parking
    Recommendation for guests with limited mobility: Use the covered drop-off lane at the Main Street entrance to the Beck Building, or use wheelchair-accessible parking in the garage at 1144 Binz Street.

Special Offers / Dining

Paolo Fronza, from Fellini Caffè, runs this sophisticated dining operation. Enjoy an array of Italian-inspired fare with a Texas flair, a European-style coffee bar, a kids menu, and much more at the MFA Café, located on the lower level of the Beck Building.

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