Thesis ID: CBB319242124

Naturing the Nation: Art and Design in India, 1870s–1970s (2019)


Chatterjee, Sria (Author)
DeLue, Rachael Z. (Advisor)

Princeton University
DeLue, Rachael Z.
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 507

Naturing the Nation: art and design in India, 1870s–1970s probes the relationship between art, design and the politics of nature in colonial and postcolonial India. It examines two art and design institutions—Rabindranath Tagore's Santiniketan-Sriniketan project (established in early 1900s British India) in Bengal, and the National Institute of Design funded by the Indian government and the United States-based Ford Foundation (established late 1950s, after independence in 1947) in Ahmedabad. Taking into account the transregional and transnational networks of ideas, agents, and institutions around them, it unpacks art and design’s deep relations to colonial and modern science and anthropology between colonial rule and the Cold War. A focus on the relationships between plant neurobiology, agricultural science, art and art theory, as well as exhibition-making allows the chapters to investigate the co-production of ‘nature’ and ‘nation’ as malleable constructs within art and design historical discourse. It reveals, for instance, how the entanglements of art and science were caught up in the articulation of a new Hindu metaphysics by a particular nationalist elite in early twentieth century Bengal. Through the work of artists and art theorists, it traces the crucial relationships of this Hindu metaphysics with the Pan-Asian movement and European vitalism. Through transnational and transregional networks of artists, writers and designers, it identifies a ‘Long Arts and Crafts Movement’ and the paradoxes and ramifications of it between Great Britain, India and the United States of America, investigating the functions of craft, design and rural reform between Victorian socialism of the late 1880s, Indian nationalisms, and American development-oriented aid programmes of the 1950s. Examining the emergence of design, and new ways of seeing, in the 1960s, it investigates how the representation of ‘nature’ and ‘nation’ were reconfigured through a nexus of art, politics, and technology, and the conflicting demands of ‘tradition’ and ‘progress’.

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Authors & Contributors
Steiner, Shepherd
Carroll, Katherine L.
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Gonçalves, Stéphanie
Tayu Wu
Ginger Nolan
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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
MIT Press
Ohio University Press
Princeton Architectural Press
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Art and society
Technology and art
Cold War
Cage, John
Freud, Sigmund
Bernd Becher
Hans Haacke
Hilla Becher
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
United States
Great Britain
Soviet Union
Bolshoi Ballet Company

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