AMHP is delighted to welcome a ‘new’ museum into the neighbourhood! Well, maybe not new – The Shree Sanjay Sharma Museum has actually relocated from a family home inside the Old City to a new building on Amber Road, right across from Jal Mahal, the water folly in Man Sagar Lake. This summer members of the AMHP staff took a field trip to look at the re-installed collection.
This building itself is lovely. Inspired by traditional Mughal architecture it contains spacious galleries that allow the family-owned collection to be shown in regal splendour. Displays range from pottery and textiles to paintings and miniatures with lots of ephemera in between. Works are well labelled. Perhaps most intriguing are the 1,250 antique manuscripts written on a variety of materials, including bark, ivory and palm leaves. The 300 topics address such themes as astrology, architecture, elephant and horse therapy, how to play musical instruments, and more. In the process of being documented, these delicate works are carefully tucked away in metal cupboards. We noted that tobacco leaves were used for conservation methods much as AMHP utilises dried leaves from the neem tree to protect textiles.
The large scale paintings are spectacular, but of course, we were interested in the textile displays. There were some wonderful block printed pieces from Sanganer, particularly a remarkable checkerboard game cloth with that bright white sun-bleached fabric so identifiable with the town. Dyed in natural red and black, 4 large cabbage roses decorate each corner. The museum has a large holding of textiles with over 200 pieces from Sanganer, so the AMHP staff is eagerly waiting for the 2nd floor galleries to open!
The Shree Sanjay Sharma Museum is well worth a visit on your next trip to Jaipur. Please tell them that AMHP sent you. Have fun!
Text: Suki Skidmore