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Museums and collections

 

Welcome to India Unboxed

To mark the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, join the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden, as we celebrate a shared season on the theme of India - a programme of exhibitions, events, digital encounters, discussions, installations and more within the museums and the city of Cambridge.

Rooted in our collections, the programme will explore themes of identity and connectivity for audiences in both the UK and India, with support from Arts Council England. 

What's on (with more to follow...)

Another India: Explorations and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia
8 March 2017 to 22 April 2018
Li Ka Shing Gallery, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Opening in 2017, the seventieth anniversary of India’s independence from Britain, Another India will explore the tangled histories of artefacts from minority populations in India and how they came to be in the collections in Cambridge. Over one hundred artefacts, paintings and photographs from the collections of MAA, many of which have never been exhibited before, will be complemented by artworks by contemporary artists from the communities represented, commissioned with support from the Art Fund.

Elephants, Deities and Ashoka's Pillar: Coins of India from antiquity to the present
16 May 2017 to 1 October 2017
Octagon Gallery, The Fitzwilliam Museum
As part of the commemoration in 2017 of the 70th anniversary of Indian independence - marked by the UK-India Year of Culture - this exhibition, drawn from the Fitzwilliam’s world-class numismatic collection, will explore the history of India through coins produced from the 4th century BC until recent times. Cultural, religious, economic and political developments are richly illustrated by the coins on show. They focus on representative periods of India’s history, ending with a display of banknotes and coins produced since India became independent in 1947.

Imagining India: Greeks, Romans and the End of the Earth 
26 June 2017 to 29 September 2017 
Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology
For the ancient Greeks and Romans, India was at the very end of the known world. This temporary exhibition throughout the Cast Gallery explores the surprising connections between the ancient Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent. Discover tales of gods, marvels and precious cargo, and voyage into the India of the Greek and Roman imagination. 

Freedom and Fragmentation: Images of Decolonisation and Partition from the Centre of South Asian Studies Archive 
1 August to 27 October 2017
Alison Richard Building
To recognise and commemorate the many meanings of freedom in South Asia in 1947, the Centre of South Asian Studies is holding the first ever public exhibition of its collections. Seventy years on, we look back to reflect on the lead-up to and the consequences of independence, partition, and decolonisation. The Centre of South Asian Studies has a unique archive of photographs, maps and films. Across the four floors of the Alison Richard Building, the exhibition will have on display some of the highlights of its collections, most of which are being shown publicly for the first time. These images illustrate the diversity of anti-colonial struggles and independence movements, as well as depicting British rule in the twilight of empire.

Astronomy and Empire
2 October 2017 to 28 September 2018
Whipple Museum of the History of Science
See how the Whipple Museum's rich collections can exhibit and critique the sciences of empire. Focusing on the material culture of survey sciences in the nineteenth century, it will display the instruments at the heart of colonial rule, exploring how these material tools were deployed and used in often remote locations to further British scientific dominion.

Representing Partition: India and Pakistan
14 October to 10 December 2017
Wolfson College
Explore the visual character of the moment of Partition and understand how visual culture was used to facilitate and articulate a transformation for global audiences. Including sketches made at the precise moment of the hand-over in 1947, photojournalism, illustrated adverts, and work from contemporary Kashmiri artist Prahast Kachru.

Pani, Pahar: Waters of the Himalayas
16 - 29 October 2017
The Old Divinity School, St John's College
This photography exhibition explores the changing landscape and escalating water crisis of the Indian Himalayas. The installation combines academic research in geography and conservation with contemporary work by photojournalist Toby Smith and curated archival images from the collections of the University Library and Centre for South Asian Studies.

Terra Firma
24 October 2017 to 4 February 2018
Fitzwilliam Museum
Artist Pallavi Paul's installation considers the mechanic and practices of truth production. The central motif of the 'secret' invites visitors to engage with ideas of espionage, secrecy and the world of information by viewing, reading and walking on this artwork. 

Nudity and Adornment in Greek & Indian Art
17 October 2017, 6.30-7.30pm
Museum of Classical Archaeology
Enjoy a glass of wine among the statues in the Museum of Classical Archaeology as Dr Nigel Spivey and Dr Caroline Vout talk about figurative sculpture in ancient Greece and India.

India Unboxed at the Cambridge Film Festival
19 - 26 October 2017
Arts Picturehouse, 38-39 St Andrews Street
Join us for a series of films about India, specially curated by the Cambridge Film Festival for India Unboxed and the Festival of Ideas. From classics by the old masters of Indian cinema through to the best contemporary documentaries, this series is a great introduction to the film of India - beyond Bollywood!

Astronomy and Empire: Curator Talk
20 October 2017, 1-3pm
Whipple Museum of the History of Science
Curator Dr Joshua Nall speaks about the Astronomy and Empire exhibition. Gain an understanding of the realities and practicalities of science in the field, as well as an insight into how field science was emplyoed as a method to legitimise key aspects of British colonisation.

Incredible India: Sanskrit Myths and Truths
21 October 2017, 3-4pm
Museum of Classical Archaeology
Discover the relationship between Sanskrit, Greek and Latin in this talk by Dr Jo Willmott.

Another India: Drop In
24 - 27 October 2017, 11am - 4pm
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Drop-in crafts and activities for families, inspired by the Another India exhibition.

A Festival of Light
25 October 2017, 6.30-9pm
Botanic Garden
Spectacular light installations and Indian electronic beats - come and celebrate Diwali with the University of Cambridge Museums at the Botanic Garden. Banish the autumn blue as we bring you India's festival of light with a twist.

Terra Firma: a conversation with Pallavi Paul
27 October 2017, 1.15-2pm
Fitzwilliam Museum
Artist Pallavi Paul in converstion about Terra Firma, her new installation at the Fitzwilliam.

Pani, Pahar: Artist's Talk and Discussion
27 October 2017, 6-7pm
St John's College, Old Divinity School
Join photographer Toby Smith, Dr Bhaskar Vira and Dr Eszter Kovacs behind the Pani, Pahar exhibition to discuss the stories, processes and research that make up this fascinating project.

 

Past Events

 

From Kabul to Kolkata: Highlights of Indian painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum
29 May 2017 to 3 September 2017
Shiba Gallery, The Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam’s second exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, showcases a selection of Indian miniature paintings and drawings, ranging in date from the 16th to 19th century. The exhibition will include works produced under the patronage of the Mughal dynasty and other princely rulers, as well as several acquired by early British patrons and collectors in India. The paintings and drawings represent some of the main themes that engaged patrons and artists in India in the early modern period, including religious epic and myth, history, royal portraiture, hunting, natural history, music and architecture.

The People of India: Anthropology and Visual Culture, 1800-1947
1 August to 27 August 2017
Cambridge University Library, Entrance Hall
Explore the different visual representations of Indian people produced over the last two-hundred years, from the British Raj to Independence. This display features engravings, lithographs and photographs, following how anthropology was used by both colonial officials and Indians alike.

India Unboxed: Bronze Arts Award in a week! 
15 to 18 August 2017, 10.15 am - 3 pm; 11 - 14 years; Price £85 (4 day course)
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Explore arts from India in this creative four-day course. Take a tour of our Indian paintings exhibition, go behind the scenes with object handling opportunities, create your own artwork inspired by Indian patterns, and also write art reviews.
Booking essential. To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

Stories on Indian Scrolls
23 August 2017, 10.30-12pm
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Find the scroll in the Another India exhibition, then add to the Museum's ever-growing storytelling scroll with your own incredible characters and adventures.
For children of all ages. Free. Drop in.

Family Film Screening: The Jungle Book (1967)
8 September 2017, 19:00-21:00, The Fitzwilliam Museum
Cancelled: Family Film Screening of The Jungle Book
Due to adverse weather conditions, we regret to announce that theFamily Film Screening of The Jungle Book, due to take place from 7:30pm at the Fitzwilliam Museum, has been cancelled.
We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause. The decision has been made to take into account the comfort and safety of all of our visitors, volunteers and staff.

Indian Spice Mixing
9 September 2017, 10am - 1pm, Price £40
Learn about the spices and herbs commonly used in Indian cuisine. Inder Bull of Inder’s Kitchen will introduce two dry spice blends which you will learn how to grind in a pestle and mortar and take home to try. She will then demonstrate how to use fresh herbs to make two simple chutneys that can easily be made at home in a blender. During the morning Flis Plent, our Head of Education will also introduce the plants that produce all these wonderful flavours and give you tips on how to grow some of them yourself at home.

Journey to the End of the World
15 August 2017, 1pm - 4pm
The Museum of Classical Archaeology
Become a Roman merchant for the afternoon and set sail for India in search of treasures to bring back to ancient Rome. There'll be crafts and activities to enjoy along the way.
For children of all ages. Free. Drop-in.

Indian coins handling session
16 August 2017, 2 pm - 3 pm
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Inspired by the Elephants, Deities and Ashoka’s Pillar exhibition.
Booking essential.To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

Indian Animals
16 August 2017, 10.30-12pm
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Explore the textures, colours and patterns on display in the Another India exhibition. Then, use your ideas and inspiration from the Museum of Zoology handling collection to create a colourful animal to take away.
For children ages 6+. Free. Drop in.

Indian coins handling sessions
2 August 2017, 12 pm - 2 pm; 8 years +
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Join curators and staff from the Fitzwilliam Museum at his special pre-booked event for an exploratory handling session with a selection of beautiful coins from India as part of Family Art Week at the Fitzwilliam.                                                                                                                                                                           Booking essential, tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

Discover in a day
4 August 2017, 10 am - 4 pm
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Pick up your Discover Arts Award challenge at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Hunt around the Museum and gather inspiration from the India Unboxed displays across Cambridge and try out different activities as part of Family Art Week. Hand in your completed booklet to achieve the Discover Arts Award in a day!

Indian Animals
9 August 2017, 10.30-12pm
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Explore the textures, colours and patterns on display in the Another India exhibition. Then, use your ideas and inspiration from the Museum of Zoology handling collection to create a colourful animal to take away.
For children ages 6+. Free. Drop in.

India Unboxed Family Festival
29 July 2017, 10:30–16:00, FREE, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, Cambridge
Join the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (MAA) for a FREE day-long family festival both inside and outside the Museum this summer. Inspired by their latest exhibition, Another India, get hands-on with workshops, contribute to a large-scale art installation, explore the Museum trail and enjoy music and performances throughout the day. 

Garden History Session : Himalayan Plant Hunters 
17 July 2017, 10 am - 1 pm; Price £35
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Discover the stories of three great Himalayan Plant Hunters; John Forbes Royle (1798-1858), Joseph Hooker (1817-1911) and Frank Kingdon-Ward (1885-1958) in this session led by Christine Bartram of the University of Cambridge’s Herbarium. The morning will include a brief tour of the Garden’s glasshouse range to see some of the plants we are able to grow as a result of Plant Hunter discoveries. This will be followed with a visit to the Herbarium, housed in the Sainsbury Laboratory, to see displays of some of the actual preserved plants collected by them. You will also have a chance to see beautifully illustrated contemporary publications from both the Herbarium Library and the Cory Library.

MUSE
21 July 2017, 10.15 am - 12 pm; Price £10
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Explore the world of Indian miniatures and create your own Indian inspired painting in gouache.
Booking essential.To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

Elephants and emperors: Elephants in Indian painting and culture
12 July 2017, 1.15 pm - 2 pm
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Talk with Marcus Fraser, Honorary Keeper of Islamic Manuscripts and Miniatures.
Admission is by token, one per person, available at the Courtyard Entrance from 12.45 on the day of the talk. Induction loop available.

Aazadi: Freedom
30 June 2017, 8pm, Price £10 Advance
Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge
Drawing widely on her multiple heritages by extending and subverting traditional forms, Samia Malik’s ‘uncompromising’ yet ‘hauntingly beautiful’ work explores contemporary issues around identity, gender and race through powerful Urdu and English songs and visual art. A compelling narrative journey towards liberation through art, ask challenging and important questions about our common humanity and have enthralled audiences from the UK to India.

Family First Saturdays: Indian Miniatures 
1 July 2017, 2 pm - 4 pm
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Drop-in on the first Saturday of the month and join us for activities and art-making on the theme of Indian miniatures.

Tours for blind and partially-sighted adults: Coins from India - Ancient to Present 
4 July 2017, 2.30 pm - 4.15 pm
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Join curators and staff from the Fitzwilliam Museum for an exploratory handling session with a selection of beautiful coins from India, and an introductory talk in the exhibition itself. Meet at the Courtyard Entrance. Tea and coffee break provided. Guide dogs and companions are welcome to all sessions.
Booking essential. To register your interest tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

Silver, gold and copper for India's money: Ancient to Present
5 July 2017, 1.15 pm - 2 pm
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Talk with Dr Adrian Popescu, Keeper of Coins and Medals.
Admission is by token, one per person, available at the Courtyard Entrance from 12.45 on the day of the talk. Induction loop available.

ReSource: ArtEast  
8 July 2017, 11 am - 1 pm; 13 - 18 years; Price £5
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Explore our special exhibition of Indian miniature paintings with artist Caroline Wendling, and make your own set of miniature paintings.
Booking essential. To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

MAKE! Indian animals in art
8 July 2017, 2 pm - 4 pm; 11 - 13 years; Price £5
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Explore our exhibition of Indian miniature paintings with elephants, tigers and horses, with artist Caroline Wendling, and create your own set of small paintings.
In partnership with Brookes Cambridge.
Booking essential. To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

Children's Workshop: Animals of India 
17 June 2017, 10.30 am - 12.30 pm; Price £8 per child
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Search for animals in our Indian Miniatures show and sculpt your own India-inspired animal.
Meet in the Courtyard Entrance. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult throughout the duration of the workshop.
Booking essential. To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk, unless otherwise stated. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

Orchids 2017: Another India
12 February - 12 March 2017
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
An exploration of India's natural heritage. This year the Botanic Garden Glasshouse range will be transformed into a technicoloured tapestry of vibrant displays to celebrate the plants and culture of South Asia. Cultural art and artefacts will be set among plants from the tips of the Himalayas to the tropical wetlands and dry deserts of India.

 

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