What’s happening in Asian art

Air India’s Maharaja Appears at Poster House

September 9, 2022

Air India's Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue,
Poster House, in partnership with Kapoor Galleries

September 9, 2022-February 12, 2023

When Air-India launched “the Maharaja” as their mascot in 1946, he soon became a larger than life figure, and not only adorned innumerable posters but also became an important part of cultural life, often even rankling the preferences of notable dignitaries. Conceived by Bobby Kooka and illustrated by Umresh Rao, the Maharaja sported a large moustache, turban, and prominent belly. He was usually portrayed with a strong sense of humor and winking satire. . . as he models hospitality and refinement in New York in the poster above, he is dressed up as a Playboy Bunny and serves drinks to a (very) young Hugh Hefner.

Today, September 9th, Poster House opens Air India's Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue, which features the Maharaja in his many guises. The show, which is on view until February 12th, is organized in partnership with Kapoor Galleries in New York City and the Indo-American Arts Council. Sanjay Kapoor along with Carly Johnson and Sophia Williamson curated the exhibition.

Related Programs:

Poster Kids: The Maharaja—What A Character!, Virtual and In-person sessions on September 18
Air India: Virtual Curatorial Tour, Curators Carly Johnson and Sophia Williamson speak online on October 11
Vibrant Verbal Description Tour: Air India, an online curator's talk for community members who are blind or have low vision on October 18

Read more, click here

For a special AWNY Member Monday feature about this project, click here.