Visitor Information Exhibitions events Collections Education Search our site

Current Press Releases
Freer and Sackler Gala Commences the Two-Year "Celebration of India," Honoring Special Guest

Media only: Ellie Reynolds, 202.633.0521; Elizabeth Bridgforth, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000

The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's annual fund-raising gala inaugurates the two-year "Celebration of India" on the National Mall Wednesday, April 30. This showcase of India's rich artistic and cultural legacy highlights two exhibitions: "MURAQQA': Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin" and "Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur." The Honorable Ronen Sen, ambassador of India to the United States will be present, as well as His Highness Gaj Singh II, the Maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur, India, who is the special guest for the evening. The Tata Group of India is the corporate chair of the gala.

The gala opens with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and includes a black-tie, sit-down dinner, followed by entertainment in the Freer courtyard by Glen Pearson Productions and musical performances on the Asian santoor and sitar instruments throughout the evening by Roya Bahrami and Alif Laila. Funds raised at the gala will benefit the galleries by supporting the exhibitions "MURAQQA'" and "Garden and Cosmos," ImaginAsia family workshops and other public programs that highlight the art and culture of Asia.

"MURAQQA'," on view May 3-Aug. 3, features 86 Mughal paintings and manuscripts commissioned by Emperors Jahangir (1605-1627) and Shah Jahan (1627-1658) from the renowned collections of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland. More than 250 guests from across the globe, including senior government officials, members of Congress, business leaders and leading patrons of the international art world, will have a private viewing of this remarkable collection of jewel-like masterpieces.

Private events for the "Celebration of India" resume Oct. 16, with a grand dinner commemorating the opening of "Garden and Cosmos" and "India! A Festival of Lights," a multifaceted festival that takes place Oct. 17-19 and features traditional music from the Jodhpur region, gallery talks and tours, storytelling and ImaginAsia family workshops.

Individual tickets for the gala start at $1,500. Sponsorships, beginning at $10,000, include a table for eight guests; invitations to "Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur" opening events Oct. 16; recognition in Asiatica, the Freer and Sackler's award-winning magazine; and recognition in the gala program.

For more information, visit or contact the Freer and Sackler's office of special events at (202) 633-0417.

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Ave. S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other events, the public is welcome to visit For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285.

spacer gif

related items
More Press Releases
Current Press Releases
Past Press Releases

Factsheets for the Freer Gallery and the Sackler Gallery.

More Info
Current Exhibitions
Future Exhibitions


Tel: 202.633.0519
Fax: 202.786.2317

Mailing Address:
Office of Public Affairs and Marketing
Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
PO Box 37012, MRC 707
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Click here to sign up for our free e-newsletter

Freer Sackler Home
All presented material is copyright © Smithsonian Institution, 2008 except where otherwise noted.
Comments to Webmaster.
  freer sackler home page
Click to view  the complete list of current press releases.