Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Vertical painting of birds and flowering plants

Photo: Scott Leen

Vertical painting of birds and flowering plants

early 21st century

The Khovar style within Adivasi painting is completed during spring, which coincides with the marriage season. Using a black-and-white color scheme and depicting nature themes, Khovar-style works were traditionally used to decorate marriage chambers and in matrimonial ceremonies. The style’s techniques have been passed down from mothers to daughters, and they are related to the comb-cut practices seen in ceramic decorations. Spring, love, and ceramics are all referenced in this painting through the presence of a flower, a bird couple, and a ceramic vase.
Khovar black-and-white comb-cut sgraffito on paper
Painting: 30 1/4 x 22 1/2 in. (76.8 x 57.2 cm)
Mat: 34 1/4 x 26 in. (87 x 66 cm)
Gift of Joseph E. Reid and Batya Friedman
Provenance: The artist (Tribal Women Artists Cooperative, Hazaribagh, India); gifted and sold, via Bulu Iman (Founder, Tribal Women Artists Cooperative), to Joseph Reid (d. 2016), Winthrop, Washington, 2008; bequeathed to Batya Friedman, Seattle, Washington, 2016; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2022
Photo: Scott Leen
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing [on view beginning Jan. 13, 2023].

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM