Drawn from the remarkable Alkazi Collection of Photography, this book traces the arrival, dissemination and development of photography in Mumbai between the mid-19th and early-20th century. Photography arrived in Mumbai as early as 1840, via trade, as well as through European explorers and government officials and the city quickly grew to be one of the largest centres of photography’s patronage and dissemination in India.
The British recorded and documented the various castes and tribes of India, using the medium of photography. This gradually led to the experimentation with portraiture and performance in numerous studios. This book uses enduring images of families, events and landscapes to examine the work of the early Indian photographers Shapoor Bhedwar, Dr. Narayan Daji and S. Hormusji, and independent firms such as Bourne & Shepherd, to highlight the trends that dominated the early years of photography in India.
With contributions from Partha Mitter, Akshaya Tankha and Suryanandini Sinha
Table of Contents
A Curatorial Note
The Dawn of Photography in India
Facing the Lens
Performance for Camera
From Bombay to Mumbai: Studios of the City
Glossary of Terms
About the Authors
Rahaab Allana is Curator of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi. He is a graduate in Art History (M.A.) from School of Oriental and African Studies, London.Partha Mitter is Hon. D.Lit (Courtauld Institute, London), Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex and member of Wolfson College, Oxford. Akshaya Tankha is Research Scholar at Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, and Curatorial Assistant for the exhibition, ‘The Artful Pose’. Suryanandini Sinha is Ph.D. candidate at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlala Nehru University, New Delhi researching “The Intercepted Photograph: Interactions of Painting and Digital Media with Studio Photography in India”.
‘A tribute to the history and evolution of early studio photography in India, ‘The Artful Pose’ marked the transition from painting to photography in an era when boundaries between the two remained blurred.”