Set in Stone: Gems and Jewels from Royal Indian Courts
23 October 2019 – 18 January 2020
In celebration of the 2019 Year of Culture Qatar-India, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is delighted to present an exhibition on magnificent gems and jewellery from India. Set in Stone: Gems and Jewels from Royal Indian Courts will showcase more than 100 spectacular pieces from across Qatar Museums’ collection, including many masterpieces that have never been displayed before. Drawing from MIA’s permanent collection, the National Museum of Qatar, and Qatar Museum’s Orientalist Collection, this exhibition will bring together a splendid array of jewellery, jewelled objects, works on paper, and photography, including highlights such as MIA’s famous gold and gem-set falcon and the brilliant diamond necklace from Varanasi.
Whether left in their natural state, carved, or set within gold, precious stones adorned a variety of objects that came to be associated with the wealthy elite, Emperors and Maharajas. Spectacularly opulent, these objects defined Indian luxury. The exhibition’s journey begins with ancient mines and ends with contemporary Qatari jewellery. Starting with “Precious Stones”, the visitor discovers the cultural and economic significance of stones in India before then experiencing the rich role gems play within the “Court and Ceremony” of the Mughal Empire. The third section, “Beyond the Court” shows the personal, private and devotional function of jewellery, highlighting the amazing diversity of craftsmanship across India. Lastly, “Qatar Connection: Pearls for Gold” illustrates the longstanding cultural and commercial ties between Qatar and India, as seen through jewellery.
Set in Stone is curated by Dr. Tara Desjardins, with the support of Nicoletta Fazio, Reem Aboughazala, Tamadur Tariq Al Shamlan.