Rajasthan is the largest state in the Republic of India and was historically home to the Rajputs, a class of warriors famous throughout India for their fierceness and ambition (of the roughly 600 princely states in existence at India’s independence in 1947, two-thirds were ruled by Rajputs). It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Thar Desert. Nights on the desert are cold and people who live there use layers of quilts to keep warm. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is renowned for block printed fabric.
Throughout India’s history, the textile arts received patronage from emperors and royal families. Their support was not always a selfless investment but a method of advertising and marketing themselves to their enemies and allies by a show of grandeur and opulence.
Click images below to view larger and read more information about some of the quilts included in the exhibit.