Silver Splendor: Conserving the Royal Thrones of Dungarpur, India
Location: Gallery 203
Thrones communicate the authority and grandeur of their owners. Created in the early 1900s while India was under British colonial rule, these silver thrones and their regalia reveal complex histories of cultural exchange and the representation of political power
In 1911 the Maharawal (ruler) of Dungarpur, a small kingdom in the western state of Rajasthan, commissioned these European-style objects for use in a new royal palace. 1911 was also the year of the British King George V’s coronation as Emperor of India, an event celebrated by a grand Durbar (court assembly) and King-Emperor’s tour of India. Given the date, the thrones were likely created to receive dignitaries in Dungarpur during this year of tours and celebrations.
A former Dungarpur king brought the thrones to Europe in 1969 and the Nelson-Atkins acquired them in 2013. Since then, the museum, with local and international partners, restored these objects, using a combination of advanced technologies and traditional Indian art forms to give a sense of their original appearance.
For groups interested in learning more about the artwork on view in this exhibition, please request a Decorative Arts Collection tour and request in the notes that the exhibition be included as part of the tour.
Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Generous support for the exhibition provided by the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts.
Additional support provided for research and conservation by the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation and JE Dunn Construction.
We also wish to thank the following partners and consultants on this exhibition:
- MK Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur
- Staff of the Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur
- Pramod Kumar KG, Eka Archiving Services Pvt. Ltd.
- Lesage Intérieurs, Paris
- Cara Varnell, Textile Arts Conservation Studio
- Steve Goslin, 3D Creative Technology Analyst, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
- Keda McKenna, Creative Textiles Resource Consultant, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
- Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, Kim Eichler-Messmer, and Marie Bannerot McInerney, Fiber department, Kansas City Art Institute
- Bacchetta and Steve Gardels, Media Center, Kansas City Art Institute Bruce North, MSCE, Conservation Volunteer
- Wynyard R. T. Wilkinson, Esq.
- Joachim K. Bautze, PhD
Behind the Scenes: Conserving the Dungarpur Thrones and Regalia
Saturday, February 25, 2023 | 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
$8 public | $5 member
Passport to India
April 16, 2023 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
(In-gallery programming throughout the day)
The Curator and Conservator are In
Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m. -12 p.m. | 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
$12 public | $10 members (ticketed in-gallery conversation)
In Conversation: The History of the Dungarpur Thrones
Saturday, November 5 | 11 a.m.–Noon