The Adventures of Hamza

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery was hometo a major exhibition of Mughal arts of the book. The Adventures of Hamza, on view from June 26 to Sept. 29, presented 61 folios from a vividly illustrated, action-filled adventure, commissioned by the teen-age- Emperor Akbar (r. 1556–1605) in India. Begun around 1557 and completed 15 years later, the Hamzanama (Story of Hamza) is one of the most unusual and important manuscripts made during the Mughal dynasty (1526–1858) and represents a crucial turning point in the development of Indian painting.

This exhibition for the first time brought together some of the finest paintings of the Hamzanama drawn from more than 20 collections throughout the world. These include a core group of 28 paintings from the MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna, the principal lender to the exhibition, whose superb holdings have never been exhibited in the United States.

This exhibition was made possible by generous grants from Juliet and Lee Folger/The Folger Fund and The Starr Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, and the Else Sackler Public Affairs Endowment of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. This exhibition was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.