June 4, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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The Open Source Encyclopedia brings together 10,000 years of Indian art history

(CNN) – From prehistoric Pimbatka cave paintings to the works of contemporary art stars such as Atul Todia and Shilpa Gupta, India has a rich cultural heritage 10,000 years ago.

This came as a surprise to Abhishek Bodhar, one of the country’s leading collectors, businessman and philanthropist. There is no reliable source of information Art History of the Subcontinent.

I do not realize that there is no encyclopedia of art in India. Being one of the oldest cultures in the world, it was shocking that no one would have thought to do that, ”he said over the phone. : “Every child knows ‘David’ (by Michelangelo), ‘Mona Lisa’ and Bodicelli, but there are Indian masterpieces that even 1% of people in India do not know.”

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Sandstone sculpture “Celestial Dancer” from the middle of the 11th century. Credit: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum

We hope that this shortcoming will be addressed, Helped to publish the Encyclopedia of South Asian Art With over 2,000 entries, it features renowned artefacts, folk traditions, handicrafts and cultural institutions of the region.

Poddar Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) is set to open later this year in the southern city of Bangalore, an open access resource created by a team of about 20 researchers and publishers. The Content was internally reviewed And is overseen by a panel of academic experts and writers.

The site is targeted at students and academics in India and beyond, as well as general interested readers. In the hope of making the entries as accessible as possible, the researchers focused not only on actual accuracy, but Use of clear and concise languageThe founder and director of the project said, Nathaniel Goskell.

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The encyclopedia exemplifies a wide range of regional art forms such as the Pithora style of painting used by artists such as Phil Boy and Puri Boy. Credit: Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle

“Most of the scholarship is ridiculously detailed”He told the Encyclopedia in a phone interview that “the answer to that kind of writing is that it makes people very alienated.”

Different approach

Research team, this Made mostly by Indian academics Early in his career, he hoped to correct various biases, including existing colonial stories in historical art literature, Gaskell said. This affected both how the inputs are written and what was first added.

“The bias of Western companies is that they have only seen a few things and ignored many regional artworks,” Gaskell said. Author of the book “Photography in India: A Visual History from the 1850s to the Present”.“.

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“By adding non-fine arts regional products, We begin to resolve it immediately“.

Like this iconic painting illustrating a scene from “Gita Govinda”, the religious and mythological arts are vast. Credit: Courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Early entries were selected as representatives of the different religious, linguistic and local traditions of the subcontinent, while male and female artists featured in almost equal numbers. Even the encyclopedia Aims to shed light on handicrafts and life traditions Fewer exploratory features of backward communities and regional art history, from folk drama and embroidery to medieval Indian board games known as slides and ladders in the United States.

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According to Podora, guiding deficiencies in existing scholarship is often a matter of sticking to the facts: “We do not rewrite history, we write what happened and connect in interesting ways.”

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After three years in production, the encyclopedia was initially launched in English, which is widely spoken in India. The organizers hope to translate the entries into Hindi in the future. Researchers too Intends to extend the online repository About 1,000 posts a year, focusing more on the wider region.

Suhag Studio, a photo studio established in 1979 in Madhya Pradesh, is one of the art institutions featured in the MAP Academy Encyclopedia. Credit: Courtesy of the Museum of Art and Photography.

“We are talking about things that are part of the history of Pakistan or Bangladesh, they are just like India.” Gaskell said many of the titles presented were pre-modern.

“This is global art”

India’s art industry relies heavily on philanthropists like Poder. The Ministry of Culture’s most recent budget is 26.9 billion rupees ($ 351 million), more than a fifth of what it spent on the Metropolitan Museum of Art 2020, the largest museum in the United States.

Podar, who He donated thousands of items from his personal collection to his museum Opening soon, he believes education is the best way to ensure the long-term opportunities of this sector in India.

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If we really want to create a culture of museums And make the arts relevant, Education needs a foundationIt’s not only accessible to museum visitors, it’s available for free, “he said.

The oldest items listed in the encyclopedia include seals made in the Indus Valley from 2600 BC. Credit: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum

Entrepreneurial funding for projects such as the MAP Academy Encyclopedia of Art is a “partial” The question of patriotismSaid.

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“I feel like we have the best art”, He added. “It is not just for the Indian community in India or for Indian immigrants outside. It’s not anyone’s domain, it’s global art. “