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Release: Immediate

'Contemporary Indian Miniature Painting' will open Aug. 22 at UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will exhibit Aug. 22 to Oct. 18 "Contemporary Indian Miniature Painting," an exhibition of 29 works.

Two events will be presented by the museum in connection with the exhibition.

Philip Lutgendorf, UI head of Asian languages and literature, will give a gallery talk at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, as part of the museum's Perspectives series. Indian sitar, surbahar and tabla player Shafaatullah Khan will perform for the Music in the Museum series at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4.

The small format of the paintings in this exhibition of works by contemporary Indian artists derives from a tradition of manuscript illustration reaching back to the 11th century. Functioning largely as book illustrations or as single images in albums, traditional Indian miniature paintings were intended to be viewed close at hand, at appropriate times and in congenial company. In India, pictures other than large murals were rarely seen on walls.

Unlike traditional Indian miniature painting, however, the works in the exhibition are part of a contemporary movement. These paintings are intended to be displayed on the walls of their owners' homes -- an indication of the influence of foreign patrons on Indian art.

The majority of artists represented in the exhibition are from Rajasthan, a large province in India's northwestern corner comprised of many former Hindu kingdoms. A reluctant feudal state of the Mughals and later an unwilling subject to British rule, the Rajasthan region, along with that of the Punjab Hills, produced a distinctive artistic style known as Rajput painting.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the cooperation of private collectors from the Fairfield region, from whom the works are on loan.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1998-99 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.