We are excited to announce that the first Jainpedia exhibition will open on Friday 14th May at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
We are very happy that the exhibition will feature 20 beautiful artefacts of Jain art, including folios from manuscripts, manuscript covers and large paintings. The themes of the exhibition will be the Jain universe, the Jinas and their disciples and monastic rules and morals.
The free exhibition will be open until the end of 2012 and there will be a programme of events running alongside. Look at Rajiv’s post on 5th January for some more information about these. Doubtless, he’ll be reminding you of these events and activities as they approach.
One of the opening events will be a talk by Nick Barnard, Curator of South Asian art in the Asian Department. The talk takes place on Thursday 20th May at 1pm. Lasting under an hour, it’s free and will involve walking round the gallery looking at some of the Jain artefacts on display.
Visitors to the exhibition will also have the chance to explore a special edition of the Jainpedia website, created specifically to support the items they will see in the gallery.
Though it won’t be a full version of the website, it will demonstrate some of the functionality and give a good idea of our approach to showcasing and contextualising these wonderful pieces of art and religion. You can think of it as a kind of preview of the website proper, though the full Jainpedia will have many more bells and whistles along with substantially more material.
The V&A and Jain art
One of the premier museums in the world, the V&A is world famous for the depth and breadth of its collections, its curatorial expertise and its innovative, fascinating exhibitions. They have a particularly rich Asian section, with South Asian artefacts displayed chiefly in the Nehru Gallery and surrounding rooms. The Jain collection is one of the most exquisite and important in the UK, with some significant items on long-term display.
Some of you may remember the exhibition The Peaceful Liberators – Jain Art from India, which opened at the V&A in 1995. This was a pioneering international exhibition of Jain art. The V&A website boasts a very good section on Jainism, which uses videos and personal testimonies, as well as text and interactive features.
The Jainpedia team is extremely pleased that the V&A has agreed to put on this exhibition to complement the Jainpedia website and we hope to see lots of you at the exhibition over the next eighteen months or so.