V & A Exhibition

The above titled exhibition opened at the V&A Museum, London on 7th Oct. 09. Princess Rajyashree Kumari, Chairperson, Maharaja Ganga Singhji Trust attended the Opening Ceremony function to represent the Maharaja Ganga Singhji Trust.

The exhibition covers the period from the 18th century when the great era of the Maharajas began to the end of British rule in 1947. It shows the changing role of the Maharajas in an historical and social context and looks at how their patronage of the arts both in India and Europe resulted in splendid and beautiful commissions designed to enhance royal status and identity. Ms Anna Jackson, Curator of the exhibition said, “Maharaja Ganga Singhji was an exemplar of the princely rulers and one of the most important figures in modern India history.”

Maharaja Ganga Singhji Trust has given on loan the following items to V&A Museum, London for display at the above exhibition

· Full dress army uniform of Maharaja Ganga Singhji. · A photo of Maharaja Ganga Singhji being weighted against gold at the time of his Tuladan Ceremony on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee Celebration – 1937.

On behalf of Victoria & Albert Museum, London Mr. Mark Jones, Director, expressed his sincere thanks to Princess Rajyashree Kumari for the important contribution of the trust to the V&A’s exhibition “Maharaja : The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts”. He said “despite the breadth and quality of the V&A’s own collections, the scale and significance of the exhibition has only been achieved through the generosity of our lenders; we are most grateful for the opportunity to display such wonderful works of art alongside our own collections.

There has never been an exhibition like this before, showing the spectacular treasures of the courts of the maharajas. Many of the objects are leaving India for the first time to come to the V&A. This exhibition will show that India’s rulers were significant patrons of the arts, in India and the West, and will tell the fascinating story of the changing role of the Maharaja from the early 18th century to the final days of the Raj.

The V&A is not only deeply grateful for the spectacular works you have lent us, but also for the support you have provided our curators, Anna Jackson and Deepika Ahlawat, throughout their period of research. The exhibition has been long in the making and its opening is keenly anticipated by the media and public; it is sure to be the highlight of this Autumn’s exhibition in London.”

The Bikaner Royal Family is one of the subjects of this sensational show with many of Maharaja Ganga Singhji’s personal exhibits being showcased as well as the history of his reforms in the making of modern Bikaner. Recently his great granddaughter, Princess Rajyashree Kumariji, wrote a book on Lallgarh Palace giving the history of the Palace and the lives of five generations of the family who have lived in it. Her book is one of a selection chosen by the Victoria and Albert museum book shop to go on sale in London. Copies are available in the Sadul Museum book shop.