Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Making the Cut

[Detail: Shawl, Dhaulpur, ca. 1850 ©VandA.]
What to edit? That's often the curator's dilemma. In organizing the V & A's upcoming show, The Fabric of India, textile experts Rosemary Crill, Divia Patel and the entire team have too much of a good thing -- an abundance of great pieces but not unlimited exhibition space. So they've been making some stressful cuts. However, a few of the rejected textiles, like this fringed 19th-century silk shawl with wide borders, stylized flowers and hems of gold-wrapped thread, are still having a moment in the sun thanks to the exhibition blog, which I mentioned last month. See more of this massive Indian shawl along with other didn't-make-the-cut objects here.


Mughal Celebrations

[Mirrored ceiling and copper ceiling lamp in the Mughal Suite. © 2014, Linny Morris, courtesy of Shangri La.] 

Doris Duke's famed, jali-filled, Taj-inspired Mughal Suite -- oft-blogged here and newly restored to its original late-30s luster -- recently opened to the public. 

[Click to enlarge. Photo ©Tim Street-Porter from Doris Duke's Shangri La: A House in Paradise,
Skira Rizzoli, 2012. Image published here with written permission from the photographer and book publisher.]

Visitors, until now prohibited from entering this airy enclave within Duke's Hawaiian residence, Shangri La, with its mother of pearl furniture, red velvet day beds, and lush Indian textiles, may check out her original paint choices -- colors which her foundation says were discovered during microscopic studies of the old walls -- and see how she first furnished the digs immediately after her round-the-world honeymoon. 

Since public access to the suite of rooms is a milestone in the property's history, Shangri La has also organized a series of celebratory events showcasing the arts of Mughal India. These will continue through July 2015, but later this month on November 29th, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., filmmaker James Ivory of Merchant Ivory Productions will participate in the series by talking about his own movie making adventures in India. Details here.