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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Past Exhibitions

Natural-History Paintings from Rajasthan

17 November 1994 – 24 February 1995

Rajasthan is the desert state in northwest India, known for its art, handicrafts, poetry, music and literature, beautiful palaces and rugged forts. The exhibition contained almost 96 watercolors and drawings depicting fruits, flowers, still lifes, birds, cows, elephants, lions, Sufi saints and colorful figures. The artists were from the cities of Jaipur and Bikaner.

From Jaipur were Damodar Lal Gurjar, Jaggu Prasad, brothers Ramesh and Suresh Sharma and Vijay Kumar. From Bikaner was Mahaveer Swami, one of the best artists from India, who also demonstrated his technique at our opening in Pittsburgh. He was one of the illustrators of Naveen Patnaik's The Garden of Life: An Introduction to the Healing Plants of India. Though some of the works in the exhibition were copies of other paintings or photographs in natural-history books, Gurjar's technique in particular has been called incredible by colleagues and visiting artists.

A 46-page, illustrated catalogue accompanied the exhibition. The exhibition traveled to Wave Hill, an estate owned by the City of New York, for display in March and April 1995.