As the new Maharaja exhibition opened at the Asian Art Museum, educators joined KQED and the museum's Teacher Program for a magical day of art, dance, and storytelling. Focusing on the work of local artist Sanjay Patel, along with countless historical gems found in the exhibition, teachers engaged with art that exemplifies "The Splendor of India's Royal Courts."
Commissioned by the museum, Patel developed his own contemporary take on the artwork of the Maharaja and Hindu mythology. A Pixar artist by day, Patel's personal artworks and books tell cultural stories through the lens of his modern, pop aesthetic. Patel was featured on KQED's Spark series in 2010. Watch the video with your students and access the accompanying educator guide on the Spark Web site, or download from iTunesU.
Besides offering dazzling opulence, the Maharaja exhibition is rich with historical context. Educators were led through the galleries by curator Qamar Adamjee, who explained what the artworks tell us about power and identity during the time of the British Raj. Teachers were also treated to storytelling by Leta Bushyhead in the galleries, and an intimate performance by Kathak dancer Rachna Nivas, who is co-director of Chhandam School of Kathak, and a member of the Spark-featured dance company founded by Pandit Chitresh Das.
Does this sound like an inspirational day to you? Sign-up for the Education newsletter to learn about future workshops led by KQED and our local museums. Visit the Maharaja exhibition at the Asian Art Museum now through April 8, 2012, and check out the museum's Teacher Programs and School Tours.
Here are some more photos from the exhibit: