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Monuments, Objects, Histories Institutions of Art in Colonial and Post-Colonial India

ISBN-10: 023112998X

ISBN-13: 9780231129985

Edition: 2004

Authors: Tapati Guha-Thakurta

List price: $90.00
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Monuments, Objects, Histories is a critical survey of the practices of archaeology, art history, and museums in nineteenth- and twentieth-century India. The essays gathered here look at the processes of the production of lost pasts in modern India: pasts that come to be imagined around a growing corpus of monuments, archaeological relics, and art objects. They map the scholarly and institutional authority that emerged around such structures and artifacts, making of them not only the chosen objects of art and archaeology but also the prime signifiers of the nation's civilization and antiquity. The close imbrication of the "colonial" and the "national" in the making of India's archaeological and art historical pasts and their combined legacy for the postcolonial present form one of the key themes of the book. Monuments, Objects, Histories offers both an insider's and an outsider's perspective on the growth of these scholarly fields and their institutional apparatus, analyzing the ways they have constituted and recast their objects of study. The book moves from a period that saw the consolidation of western expertise and custodianship of India's "antiquities," to the projection over the twentieth century of varying regional, nativist, and national claims around the country's architectural and artistic inheritance, into a current period that has pitched these objects and fields within a highly contentious politics of nationhood. Monuments, Objects, Histories traces the framing of an official national canon of Indian art through these different periods, showing how the workings of disciplines and institutions have been tied to the pervasive authority of the nation. At the same time, it addresses the radical reconfiguration in recent times of the meaning and scope of the "national," leading to the kinds of exclusions and chauvinisms that lie at the root of the current endangerment of these disciplines and the monuments and art objects they encompass.
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Book details

List price: $90.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 6/16/2004
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 432
Size: 7.24" wide x 10.28" long x 1.18" tall
Weight: 2.090
Language: English

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.

List of Illustrations
The Colonial Past
The Empire and Its Antiquities: Two Pioneers and Their Scholarly Fields
The Museum in the Colony: Collecting, Conserving, Classifying
Regional Frames
Interlocuting Texts and Monuments: The Coming of Age of the "Native" Scholar
Between the Nation and the Region: The Locations of a Bengali Archaeologist
Wresting the Nation's Prerogative: Art History and Nationalism in Bengal
National Claims
The Demands of Independence: From a National Exhibition to a National Museum
"For the Greater Glory of Indian Art": Travels and Travails of a Yakshi
The Embattled Present
Art History and the Nude: On Art, Obscenity, and Sexuality in Contemporary India
Archaeology and the Monument: On Two Contentious Sites of Faith and History