”I am over my head in love with India!“ said Charles Lang Freer, founder of the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, in an 1894 letter he wrote home from his first trip to the subcontinent. Now, visitors to the gallery will be able to share in Mr. Freer’s enthusiasm when the gallery inaugurates a new long-term installation, showcasing the extraordinary range of South Asian and Himalayan art in the collection—considered to be among the most important in the world. Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas remains open indefinitely, with periodic rotations of light-sensitive objects.
Increasing by half the space previously devoted to this region and expanding the scope of works on view, the exhibition includes sublimely beautiful Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and Islamic objects, as well as masterpieces of Mughal and Rajput paintings and lavishly decorated court arts and daggers made for the Mughal emperors.
Divided into several sections, the Buddhist art charts the emergence of the Buddha image in India and its transmission throughout Asia and includes fine Buddhist images from Nepal, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and China.