When Taj Mahals are restored, many believe the natural setting is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth.
But for the Smithsonian, the Taj and the other museums in the heart of the city have been designed to capture the spirit of the historic sites.
This year, they will be turned into a world-class art gallery, complete with an exhibition that explores how a museum can capture the essence of its location.
The Taj Mahalis will open this week.
This gallery will showcase a selection of more than 200 pieces that are part of the Smithsonian’s exhibition titled The Mind Palace.
Among the works will be pieces by Japanese sculptor Toshio Suzuki, as well as pieces by German sculptor Hans-Georg Gartner and Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel.
“We’re hoping to bring these artists’ work to life as part of an experience that will leave a lasting impression,” Smithsonian curator of art Sarah W. Fischbach told CNN.
It’s an experience, Fischbeck said, that will be “incredible.”
Fischbrach said the exhibition is “really a reflection of the people and the art that the Smithsonian Museum of American Art has done over the years.”
“This is a time of great cultural and artistic growth, so I think the work that we’re putting together is very exciting and inspiring,” she said.
A collection of 20 paintings and drawings by Japanese artist Toshio Suzukayama, one of several Japanese artists to paint at the Taj.
In the past few decades, Japan has experienced a boom in art, and artists such as Suzuki and Gartners have become popular in Europe and the United States.
A number of the Japanese artists are among the more than a dozen known as the “Taj Mahals,” a name that translates from the ancient Sanskrit name for the capital of India.
The artists include Suzuki, whose work will be on display, along with paintings by Gartener and Brueger.
“The artists of the past have been at the heart and the center of the culture of the United Nations,” Fischbach said.
“In fact, there are so many of these artists that the word ‘Taj’ has so much meaning to people.”
“These are people that are very, very proud of their heritage and have been in this country for centuries, and they are the true pioneers of modern art in this city,” she added.
The exhibition will run from May 2-April 15 at the Smithsonian.
In a bid to preserve the Taj’s architectural history, Fitchbach said the museum is seeking private donors to help cover the cost of maintaining the complex.
It will not be open to the public.
The collection will be housed in a specially constructed pavilion that will allow visitors to see the Taj as it was in 1839, before it was transformed into the Taj Hotel and then the Taj Plaza Hotel in 1984.
It is expected to be open in late spring.
The exhibit is being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Smithsonian Institution.
It has been in the works since at least 2009, and was first announced in April.
The Smithsonian Institution is also partnering with the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Japanese Ministry of Culture and Tourism to help the exhibition, which is a part of a multi-year plan that includes the renovation of the former United Nations building, and other projects.
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