Grants made as part of The Paper Project feature diverse and understudied collections
UDAIPUR : Nineteen new grants totaling over $1.55 million will support exhibitions, publications and digital projects that center the graphic arts as part of the Getty Foundation’s ongoing Paper Project initiative.
Prints and drawings are an unsung area of curatorial innovation and a place for museums to bring new forms of storytelling to their permanent collections. Launched in 2018, The Paper Project funds professional development and experimental projects for curators around the world who study prints and drawings to make graphic arts collections more accessible and relevant to 21st–century audiences.
The Getty Foundation awarded The Paper Project grant to The City Palace Museum, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) for an exhibition and publication on 18th – to 20th century maps and landscapes from Udaipur, India and the project curator is Dr. Shailka Mishra from Hyderabad.
Mapmaking has been a part of the visual repertoire of Udaipur since the 1700s, as court artists of the Mewar dynasty regularly depicted real-world buildings and terrain says Bhupendra Singh Auwa, Administrator in Chief, MMCF. With the advent of colonial cartography under the British, these methods underwent radical change and new technologies were introduced. Showcasing works from the City Palace Museum’s never-before-exhibited collection of 2,000 maps, architectural drawings, and landscape views, an exhibition and catalogue will examine artistic representations of the “City of Lakes” alongside topographical maps and plans. Together, these media provide an opportunity for guest curator Shailka Mishra to study and present shifts in the visualization of architecture and landscape over more than two centuries, tracing how Udaipur artists responded to transformations in cartographic practice.
“Permanent collections that include prints and drawings are the lifeblood of museums, archives and libraries,” says Heather MacDonald, senior program officer at the Getty Foundation. “As the cultural sector moves into post-pandemic rebuilding, institutions have a tremendous opportunity to refocus on their own holdings while they also invest in the professional growth of their staff. These grants provide the resources needed to take a deep dive into seldom-seen collections and develop creative and relatable ways to display works on paper in galleries, in print and also online.”
The curatorial projects represent collections of prints and drawings created across more than a millennium and dozens of countries. They also demonstrate the wide range of works on paper that exist, including personal travel journals, political posters, illuminated manuscripts, architectural plans and maps, woodcuts, acid-based etchings and more. Participating curators have chosen a variety of in-gallery and digital solutions to present these objects in fresh and compelling ways.
Many grant projects will focus on understudied techniques, collections and artists. At the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, curator Kimberli Gant is investigating the history and legacy of printmaking on the African continent in relation to an understudied body of work from one of America’s foremost modern printmakers, Jacob Lawrence. Gant’s scholarship is culminating in an exhibition about Lawrence’s prints inspired by travels to Nigeria and his interactions with the Mbari Club, a network of artists, writers and musicians that emerged from the socio-political upheaval across West Africa.
A number of grants support digital-only projects that are using technology to turn challenges in research or display into opportunities.
Getty is a leading global arts organization committed to the exhibition, conservation, and understanding of the world’s artistic and cultural heritage. Working collaboratively with partners around the globe, the Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute are all dedicated to the greater understanding of the relationships between the world’s many cultures. The Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs share art, knowledge, and resources online at Getty.edu and welcome the public for free at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.
The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Through strategic grant initiatives, the Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. It carries out its work in collaboration with the other Getty Programs to ensure that they individually and collectively achieve maximum effect. Additional information is available at www.getty.edu/foundation.
The City Palace Museum, an initiative of MMCF, was set up in 1969 by Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar of Udaipur to safeguard and preserve the cultural heritage and the time-honoured traditions of the people of Mewar. The City Palace of Udaipur was the first of the many Palaces in India to have taken the initiative towards becoming a museum. Standing within the very iconic 400-year-old palace structure, it is today proudly in its 52nd year, and houses a remarkable collection of objects, including paintings on cloth and paper, historic photographs, sculptures, textiles, silver, and arms and armour, that were created between the sixth century and the present day. This extraordinary collection sheds light on living heritage of Mewar as the focus of local, regional, and international exchanges in the realms of art, architecture, religion, and culture.
Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation is a public charitable trust registered under Rajasthan Public Trust Act 1959. The Foundation is an initiative of the custodian of the House of Mewar for perpetuation of its core values such as service to society and mankind with a vision to serve as a ‘temple of inspiration’ for future generations and continues the model of sustainability that is ‘Eternal Mewar’. Operational since 1969, over 500 professionals are engaged in realizing this vision. The Foundation’s current outreach is in the field of academics, eco-management, philanthropic works and heritage conservation and promotion, in partnership with several institutions at state, national and international levels. The Foundation is currently under the leadership of Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, the Chairman and Managing Trustee, MMCF. Together the MMCF and the Museum continues towards being the centre of excellence of the region’s tradition, and as a symbol of the cultural legacy of Mewar. It has always been a self-sufficient developing centre within itself and shall continue to grow into an ideal example of a living heritage. MMCF is committed to the long-term conservation and maintenance of the historic City Palace Museum, Udaipur. MMCF utilizes its resources in maintenance of the City Palace Museum along with other philanthropic activities. It strives to make a positive contribution to the quality of life of the people of Udaipur through the management and development of sustainable projects. The Foundation aims at contributing to a large-scale systematic change with a focus on establishing a centre of excellence at Udaipur.