Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India March 4–August 19, 2018

► Información en español sobre la exposición

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 in conjunction with Peacock in the Desert is the retrospective Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs, featuring the work of visionary Indian photographer Raghubir Singh, on view in the Beck Building from March 3 through June 10.

Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India | March 4–August 19, 2018

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.

► Publication
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, created yummy offerings inspired by Peacock in the Desert and featuring authentic Rajasthani cuisine. See the menu

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

MFAH Member (Join now!)  Free 
Adult (19+)  $23
Senior (65+ with ID), Military (with ID), 
College Student (19+ with ID), Youth (13–18)
Child (12 & younger)  Free


Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur, India.

Lead Underwriters:
Nidhika and Pershant Mehta 

Additional generous support for this exhibition is provided by:
Medha and Shashank Karve 
Sushila and Dr. Durga D. Agrawal 
National Endowment for the Arts
The E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
Eddie and Chinhui Allen
Milton D. Rosenau, Jr. and Dr. Ellen R. Gritz 
Paul and Manmeet Likhari
Mr. and Mrs. H. Bruce Sallee
Vivian L. Smith Foundation 
Anne and Albert Chao 
Jag and Pinder Gill
Jay and Raka Gohel
Dr. and Mrs. Srinivasa Madhavan
Usha and Kumara Peddamatham
Dr. Mani and Anuradha Subramanian
Rama and Geetha Rau Yelundur
Mr. and Mrs. Sundaresan Bala 
Monjula and Ravi Chidambaram
Kathy and Marty Goossen 
Shantha Raghuthaman
Miwa S. Sakashita and Dr. John R. Stroehlein 

The accompanying catalogue is generously supported by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.


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