The AGO's Maharaja Online

Official teachers' resource for the Art Gallery of Ontario's Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts exhibition, which is up until April 3, 2011. Learn about some of the artifacts in the exhibition, and engage in a dialogue relating ancient artworks to contemporary life.

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Memorable Vehicles

Honda meets Rube Goldberg! This commercial features a continuous shot of a Rube Goldberg machine made entirely of Honda car parts.

The Star of India

Star of India 1934 Rolls Royce. 40/50 HP Phantom II All-Weather Cabriolet Chassis 188PY Engine ZN15 Private collection Courtesy of RM Auctions; Photo: Tom Wood

  • The history of this special car reflects the history of India during British imperialism. After over half a century abroad, this car will be returned to the family of the original owner after the exhibition ends at the AGO. Many works of art and artifacts in museums were taken, sometimes forcibly as trophies of war, from their original place of origin to another country.
  • Do you think such objects should be returned to their places of origin? Why?

Click here to learn more about this artifact!

How is this artifact relevant today?

Memorable Vehicles

What kind of vehicle do you think makes a powerful impression?

Have you seen any vehicles that really stood out?


Click here for image source. Corvette dressed in flames.

Click here for image source. VW bug goes green!

The No More Gas Personal Electric Vehicle. Click here for source.

Click here for source.

Toronto’s very own memorable car, the green “chia car” in Kensington Market! Click here for source.


A Powerful Impression: The Carriage

Carriage Bombay (Mumbai), 1915 Iron, wood, silver, gilded silver, enamel, glass, silk Private Collection

  • In royal processions, which remained an important public display of power and status, while elephants were still used, European modes of transport such as this carriage, known as a landau, became more popular. Later, extremely valuable cars such as the Star of India would be used as well.
  • What kind of vehicle do you think makes a powerful impression?

Click here to learn more about this work of art!

How is this artifact relevant today?

High School Cliques

How accurate is Hollywood’s portrayal of high school cliques? You be the judge.

YouTube video: “saved by the bell new girl part 1”

(Source: maharajaonline)

High School Cliques

How accurate is Hollywood’s portrayal of high school cliques? You be the judge.

YouTube video: “Freaks and Geeks - Carlos the Dwarf”

(Source: maharajaonline)

High School Cliques

How accurate is Hollywood’s portrayal of high school cliques? You be the judge.

YouTube video: “80’s Trailers - “The Breakfast Club” (1985)”

High School Cliques

How accurate is Hollywood’s portrayal of high school cliques? You be the judge.

YouTube video: Trailer “Mean Girls”

Friendship Bracelets

Maharajas gave bejewelled weapons and jewels to their favourite members of the royal court. How do you demonstrate who your friends are?

A Sign of Favour: Sword and Scabbard

Sword and scabbard. Indore, c 1800 Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Maharajas gave bejewelled weapons and jewels to their favourite members of the royal court. How do you demonstrate who your friends are?

To learn more about this work of art, click here!

How does this artifact fit into today’s world?