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Programme of talks showcases Splendours of the Subcontinent

Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A PROGRAMME of fascinating talks is taking place focusing on a breathtaking exhibition currently on show at Leicester’s New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.

The season of educational talks is taking place alongside the stunning Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour 1875-6 – a major exhibition showcasing glittering treasures from across the Indian subcontinent.

The artefacts were collected during a tour of the subcontinent by Queen Victoria’s eldest son and Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII, and now form part of the priceless Royal Collection.

Experts, curators and key academics will host the series of talks shedding light on different aspects of the exhibition, its artefacts and their significance.

Running throughout September and October, the talks will all take place at New Walk Museum itself, in the shadow of the wondrous exhibits which range from ceremonial weapons and beautiful artworks, to detailed ivory models and jewellery.

Most of the talks and presentations are free of charge.

On Sunday, September 24, from 2-3pm, visitors will be able to hear from the Royal Collection Trust exhibition’s co-curator Kajal Meghani on the cultural impact of the exhibits on European designs at the time.

The assistant curator will also be giving guided tours of highlights of the exhibition following a talk about the royal tour of 1875-6, on Wednesday, October 4, from 6-8pm.

Then on Monday, October 9, from 7.30-9pm, internationally-renowned historian Professor John McKenzie will examine the power and politics behind the royal tour of India, in an event organised jointly with Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society. The event costs £3 on the door.

Professor Clare Anderson from the University of Leicester will lead a talk on Wednesday, October 11, focusing on a painting from the museum’s own collection, entitled Flight from Lucknow, and discussing what it tells us about Victorian attitudes to India. The talk which is free to attend runs from 6-7.30pm.

The legacy of the long interrelation between the UK and India will be explored in a series of short talks on Sunday, October 15, between 2-3.30pm.

On Wednesday, October 18, from 6-7.30pm, independent scholar Gurinder Mann of the Sikh Museum Project will present a closer look at the Sikh arms and armour in the Royal Collection.

The programme of talks will draw to a close on Sunday, October 29, with a panel of academics, writers and experts discussing the legacy of the British Raj in the UK today. It takes place from 2-3.30pm.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “The Splendours of the Subcontinent exhibition itself is a rare chance to see such a wonderful array of objects which before this year hadn’t been displayed together for over 100 years.

“These talks will give visitors the chance to hear the stories behind these fascinating artefacts, as well as understanding the wider legacy of Britain’s longstanding relationship with the Indian subcontinent.” 

Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour 1875-6 will be on show at New Walk Museum until Sunday, October 29.

For more details of all Leicester Museum events visit: