Marg is a Mumbai-based not-for-profit publisher whose mission is to augment interest in Indian art and culture. It strives to light up “many dark corners” in India’s cultural landscape and to spark debate on all aspects of art and culture among academics, critics, cultural connoisseurs and readers.
Since its inception in 1946, Marg, A Magazine of the Arts, with its focus on grids of art and cultural traditions, reflects new trends, new research, and new scholarship, with both upcoming and established art historians and scholars. The magazine is aimed at a wide audience.
Marg’s quarterly books, initially published simultaneously with the magazine, have since diverged into independent publications. These books are available on subscription at special rates.
Marg’s special publications represent the diverse avenues Marg pursues in documenting Indian art and culture. These are published in a variety of formats with informative writing and are lavishly illustrated.
Marg produces films on India’s art and architectural heritage, combining evocative visuals with the latest information on sites from Art Historians and Archaeologists at the forefront of the site's research.
Marg began life with Mulk Raj Anand at the helm in 1946. With “seven ads and two rooms” provided by the visionary industrialist J.R.D. Tata, it took up the massive task of identifying, cataloguing, and publicizing the nation’s heritage in the built, visual, and performing arts.
From 1951 to 1986 Marg functioned as a division of Tata Sons Limited. In 1986 it became a division of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (a Public Charitable Trust). In 2009 an independent Public Charitable Trust, The Marg Foundation was founded and it took over the activities of Marg in 2010.
The periods immediately before and after independence were path-breaking for Indian art, with the Progressive Artists’ Group challenging the character of Indian art as defined by the Bengal School. Marg, which means pathway, sought to provide a new direction to Indian art and worked towards publishing the ideals of this movement. Nowhere was this association stronger than when Marg provided vocal support to Akbar Padamsee during a court case which accused him of obscenity in his paintings.
Architecture and planning was another realm in which the desires of both the nation and Marg came together. Regular issues of Marg were dedicated to defining the architecture of the time. Marg became an urban catalyst with the magazine issue “Bombay: Planning and Dreaming” (Volume 18 Number 3) in 1965.
While taking part in the debates surrounding contemporary art, architecture and culture, Marg also looked to provide a unique and thought provoking documentation of the past.
Walter M. Spink’s “Ajanta to Ellora” (Volume 20 Number 2), 1967, is one of the earliest publications of his controversial theory about the chronology of the second period of construction of the Viharas and Chaityas at Ajanta.
The earliest excavations and studies at Hampi were documented in "Splendours of the Vijayanagara Empire: Hampi" (Volume 33 Number 4) in 1981.
While scholarship has always been important to Marg, the guiding force has been an appreciation of Indian art and culture among the general public, with an emphasis on increasing contact between them and the art work. In 1993 Marg created a niche for guidebooks for the serious traveller with the publication of In and Around Ajanta and Ellora for MTDC.
With the production of films, Marg ventured beyond printed media. Purva Uttara, a series of eight mini-documentaries on important heritage sites in Indian art and architecture was produced with an informative narration from art historians involved in research and excavation at the sites covered. Our documentary Bombay, One City, Two Worlds (2002) suggested a re-visioning of the city’s future planning, thus rendering in film one of Marg’s most serious concerns – the future of Indian cities.
Jyotindra Jain, formerly Director of the National Crafts Museum; Professor at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, all New Delhi, was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University and a Rudolf-Arnheim Professor at Humboldt University, Berlin. An eminent scholar and curator, his major publications include: Tradition and Expression in Mithila Painting (1996); Other Masters: Five Contemporary Folk and Tribal Artists of India (1998); Picture Showmen: Insights into the Narrative Tradition in Indian Art (1998); Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World (1999); Indian Popular Culture: “The Conquest of the World as Picture” (2004), and Francesco Clemente: Made in India (2005). He was a recipient of the 1998 Prince Claus Award for Culture and presently is a Member of the International Advisory Board of the Humboldt-Forum, Berlin.
Naman P. Ahuja is Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and is a widely published authority on the history and aesthetics of Indian art and design. He has held curatorial charge of Indian sculpture at the British Museum apart from curating several exhibitions of both classical and modern Indian art in India and internationally. Previously, as Fellow at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, he authored a comprehensive catalogue of their ancient Indian collections and at Fellowships at the Getty Institute he has explored the multicultural nature of the art of Gandhara. He is invited to speak at conferences and universities all over the world and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Zurich, the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence, the University of Alberta in Edmonton and at SOAS, his alma mater.
Vidya Dehejia is Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University in New York. Over the past 40 years, she has combined research with teaching and exhibition-related activities around the world. Her writings have incorporated translations of ancient poetry and material from unpublished manuscripts; she has explored the theoretical basis for the portrayal of India’s visual narratives and has examined issues of gender and colonialism. Her over 20 books range from Buddhist art of the centuries BCE to the esoteric temples of North India, and from the sacred bronzes of the South to the art of British India. Management and curatorial experience at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries provided the opportunity to convey the excitement of India’s art to both scholars and non-specialist audiences. She was General Editor of Marg from 2012–15.
Pratapaditya Pal has been associated as curator with leading American museums that have South Asian collections, and has taught at several universities. Recognized as an authority on the arts and cultures of the Indian subcontinent, particularly the Himalaya and Southeast Asia, he is a prolific writer with over 60 publications. As General Editor from 1993–2012, Dr Pal helped steer Marg through many new avenues.
Saryu Doshi, noted art historian, was editor of Marg for five years. She has published extensively on the world of Indian art and has curated numerous exhibitions especially at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.
Mulk Raj Anand (1905–2004), philosopher, litterateur, and social activist, was the Founding Editor of Marg. An avowed nationalist and modernist, under his leadership, for some 30 odd years, Marg began to undertake the massive task of identifying, cataloguing, and publicizing the nation’s heritage in the built, visual, and performing arts, seeking to engender public debates about museums, monuments, urban planning, art education, and questions of heritage.
Marg welcomes proposals for books, thematic magazine issues and magazine articles from writers on subjects related to art and culture from India and India influenced countries. We call on scholars, including those in the final stages of their dissertation, to submit their proposals for consideration. Marg aims to draw a wide audience into scholarly discourse. Proposals and articles therefore need to reflect this by balancing well researched and thought provoking insights with accessible and evocative writing.
The proposal submission form can be downloaded below.