Media only: Brenda Kean Tabor: 202.357.4880 ext. 319
Barbara Kram: 202.357.4880 ext. 219
Public only: 202.357.2700
Director James Ivory at the Freer Gallery of Art

Director James Ivory along with screenwriter Ruth Jhabvala of Merchant Ivory Productions discuss their films and sign books at a special event at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art (Jefferson Drive at 12th Street S.W.) on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2 pm. The event is free and open to the public and concludes the gallery’s “Merchant Ivory in India” film retrospective, which began in January.

In addition to Ivory and Jhabvala, Merchant Ivory Productions includes producer Ismail Merchant. The production company’s films have been praised for their visual beauty, their mature themes and the shrewd casting and fine acting from which they derive their unique power. From “Shakespeare Wallah,” the bittersweet tale of a wandering theatrical company in India, which established the company’s reputation in 1965, to the richly detailed comic masterpiece “A Room with a View” in 1986 and the Oscar-winning film “Howard’s End” in 1992, Merchant Ivory has provided audiences around the world with thoughtful and beautifully crafted features, documentaries and shorts.

Ivory and Jhabvala’s appearance at the Freer follows a screening of the 1975 Merchant Ivory film “Autobiography of a Princess,” in which the exiled daughter of a maharaja (Madhur Jaffrey) and his former English tutor (James Mason) share conflicting reminiscences about bygone colonial India. Tickets (up to two per person) for the event can be reserved in advance by contacting Ticketmaster beginning 10 am on Feb. 12 (refer to event code EFG0218D when reserving tickets). Any remaining tickets are distributed at 1 pm the day of the event at the Freer’s Meyer Auditorium.

The Freer Gallery of Art (12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W.) and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1050 Independence Ave. S.W.) together form the national museum of Asian art for the United States. The Freer also houses a major collection of late 19th and early 20th-century American art. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and admission is free. Public tours are offered daily. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call 202.357.2700 or TTY 202.357.1729, or visit the galleries’ Web site at

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