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Volume 66 Number 1, September 2014

Volume 66 Number 1

Editorial Note

Perspectives
Master of the Swirling Skies: An Anonymous Painter of Jammu
Steven Kossak

Mithila Painting: 1949–2014
David Szanton

The Clock is Ticking: The Blue Shores Prison Art Project
Margaret Mascarenhas & Swatee Nair

Profile
Mughal Mystique: The Khalili Collection of Islamic Art
Anjali Devidayal

Focus
The Ass Curse Stele Tradition: Gaddhegal of Ancient Maharashtra
Rupali Mokashi

Ancillary
Hindu Symbolism in Sikh Art: Brickwork in Haveli Naunihal Singh
Humaira Iftikhar & Shaukat Mahmood

Exhibition Review
The Magic of India
Nicoletta Celli

Book Reviews
Midnight to the Boom: Painting in India after Independence, edited by Susan S. Bean with Homi K. Bhabha
Sasha Altaf

Godharis of Maharashtra, Western India, by Geeta Khandelwal
Marin F. Hanson

Art and Icon: Essays on Early Indian Art, by Devangana Desai
Parul Pandya Dhar

Books Received

Contributors

Thematic Ad Portfolio
National Streets of Performing Arts (NSPA)
Anisha George and Shrishti Iyer

Thematic Ad Portfolio: National Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA)
George, Anisha and Iyer, Shrishti with photographs by Padmanabha, Naveen
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, 3 unnumbered + pp. 1–9

This article focusses on a project that creates platforms for public art and performances in Mumbai and has also organized workshops and camps with students and local residents to create better community engagement.

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Editorial Note
Ahmed, Monisha
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, p. 10

As Dr Jamshed J. Bhabha’s centenary is celebrated this year, Marg takes a moment to reflect on the valued support he gave the organization.

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Master of the Swirling Skies: An Anonymous Painter of Jammu
Kossak, Steven
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 12-31

Jammu was one of the few hill states whose artistic heritage was undervalued by W.G. Archer in his landmark Indian Painting from the Punjab Hills (1973). But later in 1993, B.N. Goswamy and Eberhard Fischer suggested that the first two styles of the late 17th-century Shangri Ramayana were produced in Bahu, once part of the Jammu state, rather than in Kulu. This article reinforces their assertion by associating a group of paintings by a single artist around the second quarter of the 18th century and whose style grows from the Shangri I, Bahu Master. Two portraits of Jammu rajas by this artist reinforce the likelihood that he worked in Jammu and that it was an important centre of painting in the Punjab Hills from the late 17th to mid-18th centuries. 

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Mithila Painting: 1949-2014
Szanton, David
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 32-43

This article argues for recognition of Mithila painting as a contemporary art form, one that derives from an ancient ritual wall painting tradition and till date enables artists to give expression to their evolving concerns, experience, and visions. Mithila painting stands between, and as an alternative practice and aesthetic to, the relatively popular but heavily commercialized Madhubani painting, and Western-derived easel painting. The continuing distinctiveness of Mithila painting is rooted in a combination of the expressive power and beauty of its techniques and imagery, the artists’ skill, intense commitment to the tradition, imagination, and expanding engagements with the world around them. This comes along with decades of appreciation and direct encouragement from both Indian and international aesthetically oriented outsiders to Mithila: W. G. Archer, Pupul Jayakar, Bhaskar Kulkarni, Uppendra Maharathi, Erika Moser, Yves Vequaud, Tokio Hasegawa, Jyotindra Jain, Raymond Owens, and the Ethnic Arts Foundation. 

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The Clock is Ticking: The Blue Shores Prison Art Project
Mascarenhas, Margaret and Nair, Swatee
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 44-55

The Central Jail Aguada in Goa lies in seclusion, at the dead end of a road below the Aguada Fort and along the Mandovi river where it meets the open sea. To add meaning to the lives of the inmates here, The Blues Shores Prison Art Project was started in September 2009 to teach painting, prose poetry and performance art at this jail. The project, conceived and directed by Margaret Mascarenhas and Swatee Nair and inspired by the art programme at the Special Unit at HM Prison Barlinnie in Scotland, evolved into a four-year pilot syllabus with an enrolment of 16 inmates who want to be artists and writers, most of whom are lifers. The works represented here in this article have been selected from the output of the first two years of the Blue Shores Prison Art Project.

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Mughal Mystique: The Khalili Collection of Islamic Art
Devidayal, Anjali
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 56-65

This essay culminated from an e-interview with Professor Nasser D. Khalili and supplementary research provided by the curatorial team of The Khalili Collections, part of which was exhibited in India: Jewels That Enchanted the World, at the State Kremlin Museums, Moscow, April, 2014. It traces the history and development of The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art from its early years in the 1970s, when Islamic Art had a minor role in the global art market till it rose as an ambassadorial protagonist and symbol of peace, unity and harmony from the 80s onwards. The essay begins with an overview of the collection, the market for Islamic art in the 1970s and the current institutional landscape for Islamic Art, globally. It then goes on to examine Professor Khalili's collecting philosophies, family background and introduction to Islamic Art. Finally a brief description of the selection of Mughal objects in the collection concludes with a discussion about Professor Khalili's philanthropic activities, awards and future plans for the collection.

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The Ass Curse Stele Tradition: Gaddhegal of Ancient Maharashtra
Mokashi, Rupali
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 66-75

Epigraphs constitute a significant source to understand and reconstruct the history of ancient Indian dynasties. Gaddhegal or the Ass Curse Stele is a peculiar type of rock edict. It was known as gaddhedagal; in Gujarat and Malwa respectively and was prevalent as far as Orissa. Rulers of various dynasties like the Chalukyas, Shilaharas of North Konkan and later succeeding dynasties like the Yadavas, Bahamani and Vijayanagara (Sangama) issued the ass curse edicts in Maharashtra. This article analyses the meaning and antiquity of Gaddhegal stele in Maharashtra. 

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Hindu Symbolism in Sikh Art: Brickwork in Haveli Naunihal Singh
Iftikhar, Humaira and Mahmood, Shaukat
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 76-83

The present essay explores the incorporation of Hindu symbolism in the ornamentation scheme of a Sikh haveli built around 1836-37 in Lahore. Haveli Naunihal Singh was erected under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a private residence for his grandson. It is inside the walled city, the smallest among the 12 gates of Old Lahore and is the only Sikh haveli in Lahore still standing that exhibits traces of its original architecture and ornamentation. It is an excellent example of Sikh craftsmanship where the difficult medium of brick was carved and moulded to create a canvas of Hindu symbols. It is now government property and houses a school. Lahore's humid weather, repeated restorations and neglect have resulted in its considerable decay. 

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The Magic of India
Celli, Nicoletta
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 84-89

The Magic of India, an exhibition of 500 works of Indian art in private and public collections in Italy, was held in Treviso (Italy), from October 2013 to May 2014. This article reviews the exhibition that was curated by Renzo Freschi, Marilia Albanese and Adriano Madaro, and divided into over 20 sections to include a wide range of artefacts dating from the Bronze Age to modern times. On display were objects covering the sacred, represented mainly by religious sculpture and the profane, displayed in the worldly pleasures of court life.

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Book Reviews
Vol. 66 No. 1, September 2014, pp. 90-94

Midnight to the Boom: Painting in India after Independence, From the Peabody Essex Museum’s Herwitz Collection edited by Susan S. Bean with Homi K. Bhabha, reviewed by Sasha Altaf; Godharis of Maharashtra, Western India by Geeta Khandelwal, reviewed by Marin F. Hanson; Art and Icon: Essays on Early Indian Art by Devangana Desai, reviewed by Parul Pandya Dhar.

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