Jaipur: Old City Through A New Artistic Lens

 

26.9124° N, 75.7873° E

 

Experience the culture and heritage of Rajasthan

through a brand new lens – the diverse historical

and contemporary displays in the museums of Jaipur.

 

Heritage hotels, canons, daal baati, jewellry, quilts, forts. These are the top few words that pop up on a Google search for Jaipur, a city known to attract people for its rich food, eclectic shopping, bespoke hospitality, and palaces. While it remains a cultural hotpot, the Pink City is quickly gaining a firm footing in the art world.  The city has always been a repository of fine miniature paintings and frescoes, and now an ever expanding list of interactive and diverse museums has rendered it a cultural magnet.

Forts and palaces such as the Amber Fort, City Palace, and Jaigarh Fort were converted into museums over a decade ago and have witnessed throngs of visitors ever since. However, recent years have also seen the city become an art destination of international repute. There are two main reasons for this: private collectors now provide context and coherence to their collections, and make those available for public view. In addition to this, the Rajasthan government too has taken a keen interest in creating and nurturing  public art avenues.

DSSC takes you on a tour through these museums that are regularly featured on travel itineraries of art connoisseurs and enthusiasts across the world.   

 

Gyan Museum

Image: museumsofindia.org

Built as a homage to the late collector and jeweller Gyan Chand Dhaddha, this space has received accolades since its inception. Designed by the renowned designer Paul Mathieu, the space is conceptualised as a contemporary, elliptical form evoking the cyclical concept of time. It showcases over 2,500, works Mr Gyan collected over his lifetime. The oldest artwork in this collection is over 3,000 years old. Artefacts include jewels, paintings, textiles, hookahs, rugs, and watches. The jewellery line called ‘Gyan Jewels’ sells pieces inspired by motifs and forms of objects from the collection. Remember that

Map it to: Gem Plaza, G-1/21-23, Gems & Jewellery Zone, E.P.I.P., Sitapura, 11 am to 5 pm.

Pick up the phone: +91 7229888866

Visits are permitted by appointment only. Write to info@gyanjaipur.com to secure yours.

 

The Sculpture Park

Image: architechturaldigest.in

Nahargarh Fort is on the travel agenda of many for the grand view of the city that lies below. The Sculpture Park at Madhvendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, which went on display in December 2017 and will run through November 2018, intrigues one and all. Curated by the co-directors of the Delhi-based art gallery Nature Morte, Aparajita Jain and Peter Nagy, it showcases 62 sculptures by 24 artists across multiple floors of labyrinthine rooms and corridors. The juxtaposition of contemporary sculptures by artists such as Subodh Gupta, Reena Kallat, Stephen Cox, and Anita Dube against the traditional frescos of the 18th century walls is mesmerising.

Map it to: Madhvendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Krishna Nagar, Brahampuri, 10 am to 5:30 pm.  

Pick up the phone: +91 141 513 4038

Admission to The Sculpture Park is included in the entrance fee to Nahargarh Fort.  

 

Amrapali Museum

Image: vogue.in

The Amrapali store has always left us drooling but the museum takes our fixation to a whole different level. The space opened during the Jaipur Literature Festival and, occupying two floors, showcases the collection of the owners, Rajiv Arora and Rajesh Ajmera. The collection is dominated by silver articles that date back to 19th and 20th centuries. The entrance fee includes an audio guide which, along with the text panels, wonderfully contextualizes the collection through the prism of regions, rituals, and religions. Ornate ink pots, figurines, betel leaf containers, gun powder flasks, pen boxes, hookahs, regional jewels are just some of the many elegant artifacts one will observe in this space.

Map it to: K-14/B, Ashok Rd, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, 11 am to 6 pm.

Pick up the phone: +91 141 519 1100.

 

Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

Image: emmasumner.com

Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is a stone’s throw away from its more famous neighbor,  Amber Fort. Set in Chanwar Palki Walon Ki Haveli, the exquisite collection of fabrics, carved wooden blocks, and the wealth of knowledge related to the tradition of block printing housed within it leaves one spellbound. Along with the permanent collection of a comprehensive gamut of fabrics from various regions of India, live demonstrations, and temporary exhibitions on specialized styles and concepts cement this museum’s stature as a fixture on every art enthusiast’s itinerary.

Map it to: Anokhi Haveli, Near Badrinath Temple, Kheri Gate, Amber, 10:30 am to 5 pm.

Pick up the phone: +91 141 253 0226.

 

Museum of Legacies

The 19th century building that until recently housed Rajasthan School of Arts in the Kishanpol Bazar within the walled city was converted into the Museum of Legacies in December 2017. Complete with arched niches, a spacious courtyard and ample natural light, the Museum aims to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan through a diverse collection of textiles, jewellery, stoneware, inlay work, paintings, pottery, and indigenous art forms from across the nation. Each of the five primary galleries have been alloted to renowned collectors who have displayed part of their collections – Brij Bhasin’s collection of traditional textiles of Rajasthan, Mitch and Nilou Crites’ collection of calligraphic stone and marble works, Pooja Singhal’s collection of Pichwai paintings from across the country, along with two larger than life size puppets and a gallery dedicated to Ojas Art Award showcasing indigenous art forms like Bhil art, Pithora paintings, and Jogi art among others.  

Map it to: Kishanpole Bazar main road, Kishanpole Bazar, Modikhana, 12 pm to 8 pm; Mondays closed.

Pick up the phone: +91 141 232 7020.

 

#DSSCRecommends: Plan a special trip dedicated to seeing art at leisure. Interlace the museum visits with food, shopping, and of course some tipples to avoid visual fatigue with the Jaipur City Guide. We cannot think of a better way to spend a weekend, can you?