Preserve Cultural Heritage

Preserve Cultural Heritage

Digitization of Old Maps from the Archives of Maharana Mewar Research Institute (MMRI)

We are committed to preserving our cultural heritage that traces back to 734 AD. Constant, consistent and frequent work is required to uphold this legacy. The palaces, the lakes, the museum, the traditions, the festivals, and the people — all make a beautiful juxtaposition in this region but there is more to it than just beauty. It brings people together, keeps us close to our values, and provides employment to many. As one of the world’s oldest heritage, Mewar brings people from all countries and all cultures under one umbrella for an exchange of customs, art, knowledge and views. Your support will add to our efforts to preserve our unique and fascinating culture and also open doors for more people to experience this inspiring heritage.

One of our projects towards this cause is to make the incredible treasure of knowledge and historical insights of Mewar available to the world at one click. We are on our way to digitize the illustrious collections of drawings, documents, and maps at City Palace.

Digitization of Old Maps from the Archives of Maharana Mewar Research Institute (MMRI)

Project Location: City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Background & Overview

The Maharana Mewar Research Institute was started in 1985 by Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, 76th Custodian of House of Mewar to preserve the age old manuscripts and maps of the royal family of Mewar. The institute houses seminal documents, drawings, and maps – some of which date back to 17th century and is a treasure for both national and international scholars. Manual cataloguing of all archived documentation is already complete, and digitization and transcription is now in the process. Research in these archives has contributed to the scholarly output of hundreds of academics.

Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation has initiated the work of digitization of around 2000 historic maps. The maps date back to 18th Century and 19th Century and depict the state of Mewar, the topographic survey of state of Rajasthan (Rajputana) and central India, household maps, Palace maps, places in and around Udaipur, railways in India, and more. 150 maps have been digitized by the Photographic Studio of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation with Camera LINHOF KARDAN re – 4×5″ and RENCAY archive Scanback – 312 Megapixels (1,248 Megapixels with plus option). Contributions to this project will add greatly to scholarly facilitation and promoting further research on Mewar, along with preserving and sharing the heritage with all interested. 

Our Objective 

Friends of Mewar aims to bring together a global community that shares our passion and helps in preserving our cultural heritage. The digitization of the maps will provide an easy access to scholars, historians, readers, and people to learn more about one of the world’s oldest heritage and help narrate the inspiring story of Mewar to the rest of the world.

Our Promise

We will send you a periodic newsletter to keep you updated and you can also, at any time, review our work and the difference your help is making. We would like to take this opportunity to put the name of the supporters of this project on our website, at exhibitions, in the publications, and in other outreach activities to appreciate and acknowledge their help and to inspire others.

Project Expert: 

Consultant conservators at MMCF

Budget: $75,000, for the next set of 1,000 maps/plans/documents

Your donation will help us sustain the culture & heritage of Mewar and add life to our mission to carry on our rich history of traditions, which date back to 734 A.D. 

Status as of March 31, 2019: Mr. Lalit Kumar Pathak of Consultant Lalit Pathak Paper and Arts Conservation, New Delhi and his team have been engaged in documentation, condition assessment and scientific studies leading to the conservation of the maps at Maharana Mewar Research Institute (MMRI) since 5th January 2019. They have documented 1,400 maps till date.

Curatorial Research Grants

Project Location:

City Palace Museum, Udaipur

Background & Overview:

The team at Maharana Mewar Research Institute has been working tirelessly to document, digitize, and catalogue the insightful and priceless history of Mewar. This digitization has made a rich trove of knowledge available for a new round of scholarship and research. Curators at the City Palace Museum in Udaipur need support to investigate this material for fresh insights and delve in the art, architectural, and cultural history of Mewar to collect never-known-before facts and stories for the world’s scholars, academics, and visitors.

Our Objective:

Significant collections within the museum have been identified as areas that need detailed attention and fresh research to make this invaluable work available to a larger audience. Your support towards the costs of curation will give way to newer discoveries and additions to the 1300-old story of Mewar. Curators and researchers will also present their findings in local, national and international forums.

Our Promise:

It is because of your thoughtfulness and this passion we share, we’re able to bring change. We make sure that donating and helping is a wonderful and positive experience for you.

We will send you a periodic newsletter to keep you updated and you can also, at anytime, review our work and the difference your help is making. We would like to take this opportunity to put the name of the supporters of this project on our website, at exhibitions, in the publications, and in other outreach activities to appreciate and acknowledge their help and to inspire others.

Project Expert:

Museum Curators

Budget: USD 10000 $ (3 grants over one year)

Your donation will help us sustain the culture & heritage of Mewar and add life to our mission to carry on our rich history of traditions which date back to 734 A.D.

Translating & publishing the daily accounts of the Maharanas of Mewar in English

Project Location: City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Background & Overview

At Udaipur’s City Palace museum, a wonderful juxtaposition of contemporary spirit and period vibes is witnessed each day. From the era of Maharana Udai Singh in the 16th century to the current custodian of House of Mewar, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar – the intriguingly rich history of the world’s oldest-serving dynasty attracts thousands of explorers, tourists, and scholars from all lands.

Maharana Mewar Research Institute (MMRI) has kept safe the daily accounts (also known as Haqiqat Bahidas) of several generations of Maharanas of Mewar. These books are the doors to understanding the lives and legends of people who formed the rich tapestry of this region. Currently published in local dialect or Hindi, these documents need to be translated and published in English for a global audience.

Our Objective 

With the help of experienced translators, MMRI has already published a series of books on the daily accounts of some of the most illustrated Maharanas of Mewar. These are Hindi translations of the local dialect, Mewari and provide rich insights into the culture and history of Udaipur. We aim to take a step further and get these documents translated into English with the help of experienced writers and translators. This will not only connect us to a global readership but make way for new studies and discoveries for the world’s historians and scholars.

Our Promise

It is because of your thoughtfulness and this passion we share, we’re able to bring change. We make sure that donating and helping is a wonderful and positive experience for you.

We will send you a periodic newsletter to keep you updated and you can also, at anytime, review our work and the difference your help is making. We would like to take this opportunity to put the name of the patron of this project on the English publications, books, on our website, and in the launch events to appreciate and acknowledge their help and to inspire others.

Project Expert: 

MMRI staff, Curatorial Team and Publishing Consultant

Budget: $50,000 

Status as of March 31, 2019: On 17th September 2012, MMRI was able to launch the last part of the omnibus, in six parts, of Maharana Fateh Singh. On 5th August 2013, the Haqiqat Bahida of Maharana Sajjan Singh was published. On 28th January 2015, the Haqiqat Bahida of Maharana Shambhu Singh was published. On 17th February 2016, The Haqiqat Bahida of Heir Apparent to the Ruler, Baojiraj Shri Bhupal Singh was published. Presently, the MMRI staff and the curatorial are working on the English translation of the Haqiqat Bahida of Maharana Sardar Singh. Additionally, the publication of the Haqiqat Bahida of Maharana Swarup Singh and Maharana Bheem Singh are forthcoming. We are excited to continue to support the scholarship.

Project Location:

City Palace Museum, Udaipur

Background and Overview:

A room of paintings, Chitram ki Burj is unlike any other space in the palace and constitutes a unique aspect of the cultural heritage of Mewar.

This small square domed room in the Mardana Mahal of the City Palace Museum has its walls and ceiling covered with exquisite paintings. While the room was constructed in the seventeenth century, the paintings probably date from the nineteenth century and depict the city of Udaipur, palace spaces, and rituals of the Mewar rulers. The paintings are in accord, in both style and theme, to the large-scale paintings on paper for which The City Palace Museum, Udaipur is renowned. The conservation of these paintings is extremely urgent which calls for more detailed documentation.

Various studies like stratigraphic examination and microchemical analysis of pigments, multi spectral imaging, IR reflectography, UV fluorescence etc. are being planned in addition to customary photographic, graphic and verbal documentation. This will give substantial information on the material and techniques of these paintings, alteration products, if any, and other subsequent interventions. Such information is valuable for understanding the work and its problems at hand, and hence deciding the most appropriate course of intervention as well for the publications.

This initiative was undertaken by Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) through supporting funds provided by Friends of Heritage Preservation, US. Comprehensive conservation works are now planned for 2021-22 after this detailed study and analysis.

Our Objective:

We aim to foster a better understanding of the painted narratives in Chitram ki Burj through outreach programmes, academic research, and the creation of interactive tools. Your contributions towards Conservation of Chitram ki Burj will allow the space and its paintings to be cared for by professionals and will help to implement best preservation practices using new-age technology and equipments.

Our Promise:

We will send you a periodic newsletter to keep you updated of the conservation work progress. For our prime supporters, we will display their names on our website, in publications, and in other outreach activities to appreciate and acknowledge their help as well as to inspire others.

Project Experts:

Mr. Sanjay Dhar, Consultant Conservator, City Palace Museum, Udaipur

Budget:

200000 USD

Your support will help us sustain the culture and heritage of Mewar and add life to our mission to carry on our rich history of traditions which date back to 734 A.D.

“Praising Udaipur: Royal Painters in the City of the Rising Sun”

Project Location:

The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington and 3-4 renowned National Museums in Europe -UK and Asia (including India)

Tentative Time: 2020-2022

Background & Overview:

The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, which together constitute the national museum of Asian art at the Smithsonian Institution, is planning a major exhibition of Indian (Udaipur) paintings for 2020 in collaboration with the Maharana of Mewar Foundation, Udaipur, India.

The exhibition, which has the working title of “Praising Udaipur: Royal Painters in the City of the Rising Sun,” would comprise 60 paintings, primarily from the collections in the City Palace Museum, Udaipur. The exhibition will be augmented by key Udaipur paintings from a few collections from museums in the US. Its focus, the relationship of the large cartographic paintings from Udaipur to regimes of pleasure, is unique and visually powerful.

The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, houses an outstanding collection of paintings on paper that tell stories about the history, culture, people, art and architecture of erstwhile Mewar kingdom with Udaipur as its Capital. These works date back to 18th century, many are exceptionally large, and together they form a unique aspect of the living cultural heritage of Mewar. The Museum experts have documented and digitized this priceless collection and have set up a state of the art conservation laboratory (in consultation with the Freer|Sackler, Washington D.C.) for its conservation in 2017.

Our Objective:

Our goal is to ensure that centuries-old Indian (Udaipur) paintings are conserved and continue to delight admirers for posterity. Your contribution towards conservation will allow these unique paintings to be cared for by professionals who will put into action best practices with the help of cutting edge technology and equipment. The conserved paintings will be exhibited at the proposed Freer Sackler exhibition.

Our Promise:

We anticipate significant press attention in 3 countries across the world, approximately 200,000 visitors across the globe over twelve months in three- four museum venues, and the keen interest of the scholarly community.

For our prime supporters, we will display their names on our website, at the exhibition, in publications and catalogue, and in other outreach activities to appreciate and acknowledge their support as well as to inspire others.

Project Experts:

Dr. Dipti Khera, Assistant Professor of South Asian Art at New York University, will serve as the lead curator.

Dr. Debra Diamond, Curator of South and South East Asian Art at the Freer and Sackler Gallery, will be the co-curator of the exhibition.

Dr. Neeraja Poddar, Chief Curator, City Palace Museum will provide curatorial support to the team on behalf of MMCF.

Budget:

Conservation of Paintings including framing with Museum Glass – 180000 USD

Your support will help us sustain the culture and heritage of Mewar and add life to our mission to carry on our rich history of traditions which date back to 734 A.D.

Our Causes:

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Promote Women's Empowerment and Education

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Provide Preventive Healthcare