31st August 2022

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City Acquires More Than 80 Paintings and Drawings from the Howard Hodgkin Indian Collection

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City Acquires More Than 80 Paintings and Drawings from the Howard Hodgkin Indian Collection
'Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah and Ikhlas Khan riding an Elephant', c. 1645, 32 x 44.5 cm, Gouache with gold on paper

The works are recognized as some of the finest examples of Indian art made between 1550 and 1850.

The Met will display the entire Howard Hodgkin collection in 2024.

The Met press release, 21st July 2022:

(New York, July 21, 2022)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that it has acquired 84 works from the Howard Hodgkin Indian Collection, which is widely regarded as one of the finest of its kind. Highlights of the acquisition include three pages from the early Mughal Hamzanama series; portraits of Mughal, Rajput, and Pahari courtly rulers; mythological and devotional subjects; celebrations of the hunt; and studies of nature and wildlife with a particular focus on elephants. The newly acquired works will be displayed at The Met in 2024 alongside the 38 works that remain in The Howard Hodgkin Indian Collection Trust, which will be loaned to the Museum. 

Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, commented, “Howard Hodgkin’s collection represents an artist’s eye for great beauty and reflects his passion for an extraordinarily broad range of Indian painting, which he gathered into a stunning group of works. We’re thrilled to display these works within the context of Howard’s entire collection, thanks to the additional loan from his trust.”

Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India in New York, said: “We warmly welcome the Howard Hodgkin Collection to The Met—an institution with deep and engaging ties with India. This special bond has been nurtured through its rich and varied collection of Indian art and heritage, and the conversations that have happened over decades. With the Howard Hodgkin Collection coming to The Met, a new chapter is being written in this ever-flowing cultural engagement. What makes this acquisition even more special is that it is happening at a time when India celebrates 75 years of its independence and democracy. I am sure visitors to the Museum are going to enjoy the collection and enrich their understanding of India, its people, and their history.”

Antony Peattie, Trustee of The Howard Hodgkin Indian Collection Trust, said: “We are delighted that The Metropolitan Museum of Art has acquired a magnificent selection of works from Howard’s collection and that the whole collection will be kept together at the Museum as Howard wished.”

The newly acquired works will be housed within the Departments of Asian Art and Islamic Art. The Met’s collection of South Asian art—with sculpture, painting, textiles, photographs, and various other media from 2500 B.C. to modern times—is one of the most comprehensive in the West, allowing it to document the full expanse of the rich cultural heritage of the Indian sub-continent. The Museum began collecting works from the region in 1891.

Additionally, Hodgkin’s own painting Small Indian Sky (1990) has been gifted to The Met and will be on view with the Hodgkin collection.

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