Cleveland Museum of Art Acquires Benkaim Collection of Indian Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Indian and Southeast Asian collection is rated as one of the leading collections in this area, both nationally and internationally.

Layla and Majnun in the Wilderness with the Animals, c. 1590–1600. Attributed to Sanwalah (Indian, active Mughal court, mid- to late 1500s). Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; 24.7 x 16.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of an anonymous donor; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection  2013.301

Layla and Majnun in the Wilderness with the Animals, c. 1590–1600. Attributed to Sanwalah (Indian, active Mughal court, mid- to late 1500s). Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; 24.7 x 16.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of an anonymous donor; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.301

To add to its collection, the museum announce a significant acquisition: the Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Ralph Benkaim Collection of Deccan and Mughal Paintings is an unparalleled private collection of 95 works from India’s major Islamic courts. The Benkaim Collection contains extremely rare folios and has been represented in many publications, exhibitions and research projects on Indian painting for the last several decades. The acquisition, made possible in part through the support of an anonymous donor, immediately elevates the museum to a world-class leader in this field. Nine of the works will be on view in the museum’s permanent collection galleries of Indian and Southeast Asian art, opening on December 31, 2013 as part of the grand opening festivities for the museum.

The works in the Benkaim Collection range in date from the 1550s, the very beginning of painting practice in the Mughal court, through the late 18th century. The collection also includes 15 paintings from the court ateliers of the Deccan, located in India’s southern regions, which are contemporaneous with the imperial Mughal centers to the north. This acquisition significantly expands the museum’s existing collection of Deccan and Mughal paintings and adds rare works of the highest quality and scholarly importance. Paintings will be rotated in the galleries twice a year, offering visitors a new look at the collection on an ongoing basis.

Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
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