India — exotic, complicated, a mashup of culture, politics, history and religion, an arts crossroads of sorts. Now, Angelenos can take an up-close and personal view of what and who have informed the region's artistic sense since the 18th century. LACMA presents India's Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow, the first major international exhibition devoted to the culture of the northern Indian court of Lucknow, as seen through the eyes of artists from within and without. The exhibition of some 200 artworks — including European oils, watercolors and prints; Indian opaque watercolors; vintage photography; textiles; garments; decorative art objects; metal work; glassware; weaponry and jewelry — examines the effects of India's colonial past. The works are arranged in 12 sections over 10 galleries, “according to chronology and theme, and offering an understanding of Lucknow's history, as well as the development of its artistic traditions.” Curator Stephen Markel notes: “Lucknow was the nexus point for one of the great dramas of history. Not only were starkly diverse cultures competing with immense riches and political domination but the dynamic lead characters and brilliant aesthetic achievement all made for a deeply poignant era and vital artistic legacy.” Be part of the drama; come, observe, complain about parking.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 12. Continues through Feb. 27, 2010

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