SDMA Exhibition

Emerging Elites
Indo-Muslim Art in Transition

30 August 2008-15 March 2009
San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA)

The Exhibition

This exhibition focuses on the artistic transitions that took place in Indo-Muslim cultural centers in the 18th and 19th centuries. It explores the continuities and creative transformations in Indian paintings between 1739, the year Delhi was attacked by Nader Shah of Iran, and 1858, the year India became a British colony.

During this period of decentralization, India was only nominally ruled by the Mughal emperor. Political, military, and economic power shifted to groups of newly emerging elites: independent regional rulers, merchants and bankers, and the British East India Company.

Indian artists of this time adjusted to new patronage systems and social conditions and strategically combined Mughal visual formulas with elements adapted from increasingly familiar European artistic conventions.

The works on view—many for the first time—are drawn from SDMA’s extensive Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings, and the exhibition presents new research and identifications. Emerging Elites is held in conjunction with an international conference, Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition, at the University of California, Irvine, and it has been co-curated by Alka Patel (UC-Irvine) and Sonya Rhie Quintanilla (SDMA).

 The Paintings 

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