The Artists Of Nathdwara website launch
February 18, 2021
The Artists of Nathdwara website, a joint initiative by Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose and Project Virasat of Enactus SRCC, was launched in an online event on 18th February 2021. The event was attended by many renowned people from the fields of art, literature and politics from India and the US.
In order to provide the Pichvai artists of Nathdwara with a platform to bring out their art to a global platform, the Artists of Nathdwara website was launched in a successful online event. The event was attended by Goswami Chi. 105 Shri Vishal Bawasri of Nathdwara, C.P. Joshi (MLA, Nathdwara), artist and author Amit Ambalal, Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose (Alsdorf Associate Curator, Art Institute of Chicago, USA), the team members of Enactus SRCC, and the Nathdwara artists along with invited guests from India and abroad. The event highlighted how the Pichvai artists of Nathdwara continue to face problems in sustaining this 400-year old art form. Mr. C.P. Joshi, the MLA of Nathdwara called it “a great initiative to give the Pichvai artists the recognition they deserve.”
Shri Vishal Bawasri of Nathdwara brought out the significance of Pichvai paintings and said, “Pichvai is not just an art but a form of devotion to Shrinathji.” Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose, who has been associated with the Nathdwara artists for more than 8 years said, “This website will enable the artists to sustain this art form and help them enormously.” This website for the artists,by the artists, and of the artists is empowerment in the truest sense. It takes a step forward to give the centuries old Pichvai art traditions a global platform which it richly deserves.
Making the Desert Bloom: Painted Textiles for a Krishna Temple
October 14, 2018
This lecture discussed the history and images of the Pushtimarg sect followed by comparisons of the modern pichvais on exhibition in Pigment on Cloth with their 19th and 20th century prototypes. The work of the Nathdwara artist, Sukhdev Kishandas, patriarch of the Sharma family and holder of the prestigious title of painting mukhiya (chief) of the Shrinathji Temple (1881 – 1916) was also discussed.
Art Institute of Chicago Curator Speaks on the Art of Indian Pichvai Painting
September 13, 2018
Dr. Ghose greeted visitors in the Hillestad Textiles Gallery after her talk on September 13 entitled “The Artists of Nathdwara: Traditions and Contexts”, in conjunction with the exhibition Pigment on Cloth: Tradition, Family and the Art of Indian Pichvai Painting, the Fall 2018 offering of the Hillestad Textiles Gallery. Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose is the Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic Art at the Art Institute of Chicago and she continues to work with the traditional artists of Nathdwara, helping to promote an understanding of their work both within India and abroad. “It’s important that these artist’s be supported, encouraged and mentored as they work to create viable revenue streams to support their historic practice,” said Ghose. “Theirs is a niche market, certainly, but I do believe that with the right counsel, the artists of Nathdwara can build a healthy painting-based economy for themselves. This exhibition in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery is one example of how they can maximize opportunities to bring their work to an international audience.”
Pigment on Cloth: Tradition, Family and the Art of Indian Pichvai Painting
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln, USA
August 12 – November 16, 2018
This special exhibition curated by Professor Michael James introduced the audience of Lincoln, Nebraska, to the historic Indian practise of painting pichvais. The exhibition presented the work of one contemporary family of artists of Nathdwara, the family of Dr Yugal Kishor and Shyam Sundar Sharma, representing the work of the fifth, sixth and seventh generations of pichvai artists of this one family.
Dr. Anita B. Shah’s discussion on Deccani pichvais
January 23, 2018
Dr. Anita Shah is an independent scholar, a descendant of an important Pushtimarg family from Hyderabad, and an expert on Deccani pichvais. On 23rd January 2018, she conducted an event where she discussed Deccani pichvai paintings with the artists.
Reliance Foundation Event with Mrs. Nita Ambani
August 31, 2016
Mrs. Nita Ambani, Chairperson and Founder, Reliance Foundation has played a catalytic role in resurrecting the lost glory of Pichvai Paintings. At an exclusive event at Ahmedabad, Mrs. Ambani interacted with the Artists of Nathdwara and pledged to support and revive this 400-year-old magnificent art form. For her, Pichvai is a medium to get lost in the devotion of Lord Shrinathji. Pichvai paintings now adorn the walls of RIL and Reliance Foundation headquarters.
Artists’ visit to Dungarpur
August 30, 2016
The artists visited Dungarpur, a Rajput princely state in the southernmost part of Rajasthan. They visited the famous Juna Mahal, a historic monument of Dungarpur, and studied and admired its wall paintings, which have been created by their ancestors.
February 3, 2016
The artists of Nathdwara honored Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose in an event for her constant support and efforts. Dr. Ghose gifted the artists a copy of the Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings exhibition catalogue and told them how the exhibition went. Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose has played a pivotal role in the formation of the Artists of Nathdwara association as well as the launch of the website. She has been a constant support in reviving the Pichvai artform.
Dr. Prabhakant and Dr. Anita Sinha’s visit to Nathdwara
January 11, 2016
Art Institute of Chicago trustee and patrons of the Gates of the Lord exhibition, Dr. Prabhakant and Dr. Anita Sinha visited the Shrinathji temple of Nathdwara and later met with the artists. They appreciated the alluring Pichvai paintings and the intricate work of the artists.
Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
September 13, 2015–January 3, 2016
Bringing together over 100 artworks from private and public collections in India and the United States, Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings was the first major U.S. exhibition to explore the unique visual culture of the Pushtimarg, a Hindu denomination from Western India. Scholars and artists have long been fascinated by the distinctive and highly aestheticized manner in which members of the Pushtimarg venerate Shrinathji, as well as by the legacy of miniature paintings created as a record of such worship. This exhibition showcased centuries of pichvais (textile hangings) and miniature paintings that have been created by and for the Pushtimarg and explained how they were used in seasonal and daily veneration of Shrinathji, the chief deity venerated by the Pushtimarg at the temple in the town of Nathdwara, near Udaipur, in Rajasthan, India.
Curated by Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose, the Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, this exhibition comprised drawings, pichvais, paintings, and historic photographs borrowed chiefly from two major private collections in India, the renowned TAPI Collection of Praful and Shilpa Shah (Surat, India) and the Amit Ambalal Collection (Ahmedabad, India). These rare loans were augmented by important objects from a number of public and private collections within the United States, including the Art Institute’s own permanent collection, in order to present the richest possible story of Pushtimarg art and tradition.
Lead Sponsorship for Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings was provided by Nita and Mukesh Ambani and the Reliance Foundation. Major funding has been generously contributed by Anita and Prabhakant Sinha. Annual support for Art Institute exhibitions is provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Kenneth Griffin, Robert M. and Diane v. S. Levy, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, and the Woman’s Board.
Artists of Nathdwara website launch
January 24, 2015
Artists of Nathdwara website was launched in the presence of Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose, Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan Art, Art Institute of Chicago.
This was the first big step in reviving the 400-year old Pichvai art. The website would serve as a platform for providing recognition to the original Nathdwara artists.
The first meeting of the Artists of Nathdwara
December 30, 2014
Multiple generations of the artists of Nathdwara gathered in December 2014 for this photograph for the Gates of the Lord exhibition catalogue. This was the occasion when it was decided to create an organisation for the artists, run by the artists themselves.