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Sat, 15 Jul

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Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre

The Karwaan Keynote 2023 | Prof. Kavita Singh

Karwaan: The Heritage Exploration Initiative invites you to Karwaan Keynote Address 2023 to be delivered by Eminent Art Historian Prof. Kavita Singh titled 'Book of Gold: The Golden Ramcharitmanas of Kashi: At Court, In the Archives and in the Market' on 15th July 2023 at India Habitat Centre

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The Karwaan Keynote 2023 | Prof. Kavita Singh
The Karwaan Keynote 2023 | Prof. Kavita Singh

Time & Location

15 Jul 2023, 7:00 pm IST

Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road Near Airforce Bal Bharati School, Lodhi Rd, Institutional Area, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India

About the Event

Karwaan: The Heritage Exploration Initiative invites you to Karwaan Keynote Address 2023 to be delivered by Eminent Art Historian Prof. Kavita Singh titled 'Book of Gold: The Golden Ramcharitmanas of Kashi: At Court, In the Archives and in the Market' on 15th July 2023 at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre at 7 PM IST.

Date and Time: 15th July 2023, 7 PM IST Venue: Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre Kindly RSVP: karwaanheritage@gmail.com

About the Lecture: For years, the illustrated Kashi Ramcharitmanas – sometimes called the “Golden Ramayana” has remained practically unknown. Yet it is one of the most remarkable and ambitious manuscript-illustration projects undertaken in northern India at the cusp of the 18th-19th centuries. Lavishly illumined with gold, its 1100 pages are bound as seven volumes, one for each kanda. Half of these pages bear calligraphed text; the other half have full-page illustrations. As one browses the manuscript, one is taken on a tour of every major school of painting of the time. It is clear that artists from Awadh, Murshidabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Datia and Patna came together to make this extraordinary book. Under what circumstances was this book made, where, and for whom? While these historical questions are important and will be addressed in the talk, there are equally important issues around the manuscript’s contemporary life. Today, this golden book has emerged from obscurity because it is being sold page by page in the art market. As this remarkable manuscript gets dispersed, it raises sharp questions about the role and responsibilities of the art market, collectors, museums and archives that value historical artefacts in new, and sometimes damaging ways.

About the Keynote Speaker: Prof. Kavita Singh is a scholar of remarkable achievement, and has a vital and influential presence in the discipline of art-history in South Asia. Kavita Singh is an art historian whose research interests include the history and politics of museum collections, the social history of Indian painting, and the application of narrative theory to art. Prof. Singh received her BA (Hons), English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College (1985) and her MFA in Art History from M.S. University, Baroda in 1987. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from Punjab University, Chandigarh in 1996. She was a Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she taught courses on the history of Indian painting and the history and politics of museums.

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