Monuments, Objects, Histories
Institutions of Art in Colonial and Post-Colonial India
By (author) Tapati Guha-Thakurta
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Monuments, Objects, Histories by Tapati Guha-Thakurta
Book DescriptionArt history as it is largely practiced in Asia as well as in the West is a western invention. In India, works of art-sculptures, monuments, paintings-were first viewed under colonial rule as archaeological antiquities, later as architectural relics, and by the mid-20th century as works of art within an elaborate art-historical classification. Tied to these views were narratives in which the works figured, respectively, as sources from which to recover India's history, markers of a lost, antique civilization, and symbols of a nation's unique aesthetic, reflecting the progression from colonialism to nationalism. The nationalist canon continues to dominate the image of Indian art in India and abroad, and yet its uncritical acceptance of the discipline's western orthodoxies remains unquestioned, the original motives and means of creation unexplored. The book examines the role of art and art history from both an insider and outsider point of view, always revealing how the demands of nationalism have shaped the concept and meaning of art in India. The author shows how western custodianship of Indian "antiquities" structured a historical interpretation of art; how indigenous Bengali scholarship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries attempted to bring Indian art into the nationalist sphere; how the importance of art as a representation of national culture crystallized in the period after Independence; and how cultural and religious clashes in modern India have resulted in conflicting "histories" and interpretations of Indian art. In particular, the author uses the depiction of Hindu goddesses to elicit conflicting scenarios of condemnation and celebration, both of which have at their core the threat and lure of the female form, which has been constructed and narrativized in art history.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231129985
(254mm x 178mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 26-May-2004
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Tapati Guha-Thakurta
New Cultural Histories of India, Hardback (May 2014)
Most of the papers presented at the conference on 'New Cultural Histories of India', organized by Centre for Studies in Social Sciences during 5-7 January 2010.
Making of a New 'Indian' Art, Paperback (December 2007)» View all books by Tapati Guha-Thakurta
This book offers an analysis of the transformations that occurred in the art and aesthetic values of Bengal during the colonial and nationalist periods.
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Author Biography - Tapati Guha-Thakurta
Tapati Guha-Thakurta is professor in history at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, The author of The Making of a New 'Indian' Art: Artists, Aesthetics, and Nationalism in Bengal, she is a specialist on the art and cultural history of modern and contemporary India.
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