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Festival of India in the U.S. 




The Festivals of India held in the US in 1985-86 created a sensation and stir in the world of cultural exchange. The Festivals sought to convey to the people of America the life and culture in India. The Festivals also saw institutional collaboration between the two countries. Exhibitions and cultural performances dominated the Festivals. 

Thirtyfive museums in the US participated in the exhibition by providing on loan their collections. The IGNCA has in its collection 1059 slides on the celebration of various Festivals of India, received from the Department of Culture, Government of India.

Some of the important exhibitions held in the US during the Festival in 1985-86 were: ‘The Sculpture of India: 3000 BC – 1300 AD’ (National Gallery of Art, Washington); ‘Kushana Sculptures: Images from early India’ (The Cleveland Museum of Art); ‘4000 years of Terracotta art’ (The Brooklyn Museum, New York); ‘Monumental Islamic Calligraphy from India’ (The University of Iowa); ‘Vijayanagara: Where Kings and Gods met’ (The American Museum of Natural history, New York); ‘The Arts of South Asia’ (Freer Gallery of Art, Washington); ‘Painted Delight’ (Philadelphia Museum of Art); ‘Court Costumes of India’ (The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York); and ‘Printed Books in India’ (The New York Public Library).

National Gallery of Art, Washington; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Cleveland Museum of Art; University of Iowa, Iowa city; The Asia Society Gallery, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cincinnati Art Museum; American Federation of Arts, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Mills College, Oakland, California; New York Public Library; Jewish Museum, New York; The Royal Oak Foundation; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, Peabody Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington; Smithsonian Institute University of Oregon, Oregon; Wight Art Gallery, University of California, Grey Art Gallery, New York; Museum of World Folk Art, San Diego; American Museum of Natural history, New York., International Museum of photography at Eastman house, New York; University Art Museum, Berkeley; Museum of Modern Art, New York, Lincoln Centre for the performing Arts, New York and American Institute of Indian Studies participated in the Festival by hosting the exhibitions performances etc. on different themes portraying the entire panorama of cultural development in India, sculptures, terracotta, toys, costumes, paintings, manuscripts, dance, drama, music theatre and films. A number of masterpieces of Indian art were sent on loan from India to different museums in the US.

-- Virendra Bangroo 

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