Dr Yuthika Sharma, a Lecturer and Programme Director in History of Art, has selected more then 50 objects which have never been exhibited before to be showcased at the Main Library during the Festival Fringe and into the Autumn.

The "Highlands to Hindustan" exhibition aims to celebrate the University’s links with India. Dr Sharma has worked in collaboration with Dr Andrew Grout, former archivist of the Library’s Special Collections.

The manuscripts, sculptures and paintings span two millennia of the art and culture of the Indian subcontinent and were collected by Scots in British India.

The exhibition brings forth new and ongoing research on these objects and Dr Sharma has identified a number of previously unattributed paintings from the collection, for e.g. a group of 17th and 18th century paintings produced in Mughal India.

A stone Buddha-head and other fragments on display originate from the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, situated in modern northwest Pakistan. It is one of the oldest objects from the region in the University’s collection.

The 200,000-verse Mahabharata – one of the two major epic poems of ancient India – is set out in a 72-metre-long manuscript scroll dating from 1795 and is encased in a box with a handle to turn it.

Tasawir (C18th)
University of Edinburgh Art Collection
A prince approaches a swooning princess, Faizabad 1760-70, Or.Ms 374, f. 28

"I am delighted to showcase the rich splendour of Indian and South Asian art from the University’s collections during this year’s Festival Fringe. I hope visitors will enjoy the visually stunning exhibits that tell the story of cultural interactions spanning two millennia."

Dr Yuthika Sharma

A watercolour sketch showing the annual migration Himalayan shepherd chiefs, will also feature in the exhibition.

It was collected by Hugh Cleghorn from Fife – who served as an assistant surgeon in India in the 1840s. There he developed a keen interest in botany and became known as the father of scientific forestry.

Further attractions include a set of copper plates from South India forming a royal charter from 447 AD for Pallava kings and a 16th century album of calligraphy and poetry.

Films of traditional Indian dancing and music will also be on display.

"I am delighted to showcase the rich splendour of Indian and South Asian art from the University’s collections during this year’s Festival Fringe," said Yuthika, "I hope visitors will enjoy the visually stunning exhibits that tell the story of cultural interactions spanning two millennia and the role these objects played in shaping the world views and ideas of their makers and collectors."

The exhibition, which has been featured in The Times, The Herald, and The Scotsman, will be on display in the University of Edinburgh Main Library, 28 July - 4 November 2017.




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