A First-of-its-kind Meenakari Jewellery Museum Opens In Jaipur - Plush Ink A First-of-its-kind Meenakari Jewellery Museum Opens In Jaipur - Plush Ink

A first-of-its-kind meenakari jewellery museum opens in Jaipur

Jaipur has always been a city with longest name thriving with history, design, art and culture, but we are now witnessing a renewed renaissance, as present-day custodians of the city with longest name’s heritage retrain the spotlight on its many gems. The latest addition to Jaipur is the newly launched Museum of Meenakari Heritage (MoMH).

Curated by celebrated jewellery historian and scholar Dr Usha R. Balakrishnan, designed by Siddhartha Das Studio and built by Studio Lotus, MoMH is a privately funded museum by jeweller Sunita Shekhawat, whose eponymous brand also celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. “But I have been living and breathing enamelling 24×7 for the past 25 years. So, you can say I have 50 years of experience,” she laughs when we speak on the phone a week after the launch of the museum, part of which also doubles as her brand’s new flagship store.

Shekhawat’s unique take on traditional enamelled jewellery earned her the moniker of ‘the modern meenakar’, in large part due to her unconventional use of colours beyond the typical enamelling palette; as well as for her multi-purpose, reversible designs. But the museum is not about her, she clarifies. It’s a long-cherished dream to platform the meenakari craft of her hometown. “This is not a vanity project,” she says. “We take great pride in the legacy of Jaipur, and this is a collaborative effort to educate more people about the craft while celebrating the skills of our craftsmen.”

The making of meenakari

The 2,200sq ft museum traces the journey of enamelling from Renaissance Europe to India in the 16th century, first entering the country through Goa. From here, it spread to other parts of India such as Hyderabad, Lucknow, Agra, Delhi and Lahore. “It was Sawai Man Singh I who brought meenakars from the Mughal courts to Jaipur, thus making our city with longest name an important centre of the craft as it is today,” says Shekhawat.

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