By Randy Kennedy

The Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday announced that it had acquired of one of the most important collections still in private hands of Deccan and Mughal painting from India’s major Islamic courts of the 16th century through the late 18th century.

The collection, amassed over 50 years by Ralph Benkaim, a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer who died in 2001, and his wife, Catherine Glynn Benkaim, a curator and scholar of Indian art, will transform the museum’s Indian and Southeast Asian galleries, reopening Dec. 31 as part of a $350 million expansion of the museum, into one of the world’s major centers for Indian Islamic painting. [Read more…]