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; a monumental 17th-century court tent; intricately carved furnishings; a Rolls-Royce; 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.
► Exhibition Preview
► 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.
The illustrated exhibition catalogue is available through the MFA Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum’s Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).
► Treat Yourself!
Chef Kiran Verma of Kiran’s restaurant, 2925 Richmond Avenue, is crafting yummy offerings inspired by Peacock in the Desert. The special menu—featuring authentic Rajasthani cuisine—is available for only a limited time. See the menu
► Exhibition Admission
Tickets, available online and on-site, include access to the Museum’s art collections.
|MFAH Member (Join now!)||Free|
|Senior (65+ with ID), Military (with ID),
College Student (19+ with ID), Youth (13–18)
|Child (12 & younger)||Free|
Make It a Combo! Save when you combine your tickets to Peacock in the Desert with tickets to Michelangelo and the Vatican. A two-exhibition combo pack is only $30—general admission included!
• Learn more about purchasing Combo Packs