Traditional Arts of South Asia: Continuity in Contemporary Practice & Patronage


Crispin Branfoot, ed

ISBN 9781872843322

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Traditional Arts of South Asia: Continuity in Contemporary Practice & Patronage, edited by Crispin Branfoot, examines the challenges of modernity to the development, understanding and practice of the traditions of architecture, sculpture, textiles and paintings of South Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Contributors Anna L Dallapiccola, Eiluned Edwards, Adam Hardy, Jyotindra Jain, Robin D Jones, Ismail Mohammad Khatri, Abigail McGowan, Kamil Khan Mumtaz, Samuel K Parker, Sharada Srinivasan

South Asia is well known for its vibrant visual culture, with a rich artistic tradition that stretches back over two millennia. Traditional Arts of South Asia: continuity in contemporary practice and patronage examines the challenges of modernity to the development, understanding and practice of the traditions of architecture, sculpture, textiles and paintings of South Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Included are studies of traditions of art in India and Sri Lanka in the context of the nineteenth century British Arts & Crafts Movement; the production and consumption of block-printed cloth and other textiles in western India; the impact of modern technology on the mass reproduction of Hindu imagery; tradition and innovation in the practice of bronze-casting and temple painting in south India; and the patronage and design of religious architecture, both Hindu and Islamic, in modern South Asia. The papers included are by a distinguished group of eleven scholars and practitioners of traditional arts from India, Pakistan, Britain and the United States.

About the volume editor: Dr Crispin Branfoot is Reader in the History of South Asian art & archaeology at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of Gods on the Move: architecture and ritual in the south Indian temple (2007), co-author with Roger Taylor of the catalogue for an international exhibition Captain Linnaeus Tripe: photographer of India and Burma, 1852-1860, co-author with Archana Venkatesan of In Andal’s Garden: Art, Ornament and Devotion in Srivilliputtur (2015) and editor with Ruth Barnes of Pilgrimage: The Sacred Journey (2006). Books in preparation include, as editor, Portraiture in South Asia since the Mughals: Art, History, Representation (2018).


  • Crispin Branfoot, Senior Lecturer in South Asian Art and Archaeology, SOAS, University of London. Former Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University.
  • Anna L Dallapiccola, former Professor of Indian Art, Heidelberg University and Visiting Professor at De Montfort University.
  • Eiluned Edwards, Reader in Global Cultures of Textiles and Dress at Nottingham Trent University. Former Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University, Leicester.
  • Adam Hardy, Professor of Asian Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. Former Professor of South Asian Architecture at De Montfort University.
  • Jyotindra Jain, former Professor of Art and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Director of the Crafts Museum, New Delhi.
  • Robin D Jones, Associate Professor, School of Art, Design and Fashion, Southampton Solent University.
  • Ismail Mohammad Khatri, traditional artist, Dhamadka, Gujarat.
  • Abigail McGowan, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Vermont.
  • Kamil Khan Mumtaz, architect and director of Anjuman Mimaran, Lahore, Pakistan. Formerly Professor and Head of Department of Architecture, National College of Arts, Lahore.
  • Samuel K Parker, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Tacoma, USA.
  • Sharada Srinivasan, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

Table of Contents

Contributors | 8
Acknowledgments | 9
1  Introduction | Crispin Branfoot | 10
Colonialism and the Traditional Arts 34-77
2  British interventions in the traditional crafts of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) c1850~1930 | Robin D Jones | 34
3  Crafts as art in late colonial India: artisans, creativity, and colonial policy, 1880~1920 | Abigail Mcgowan | 56
Textiles in Western India | 78-109
4  Cloth and community: The local trade in resist-dyed and block-printed textiles in Kachchh district, Gujarat   | Eiluned Edwards | 78
5  The work of the Khatris of Kachchh: ajrakh and block-printed textiles | Ismail Mohammad Khatri with Eiluned Edwards | 96
Modernity and Hindu Visual Culture | 110-147
6  The contemporary Hindu shrine: Between the cultic and the exhibitory space  | Jyotindra Jain | 110
7  From temple to mantelpiece: Changing paradigms in the art and craft of south Indian metal icons | Sharada Srinivasan | 124
Temple Arts in Contemporary South India | 148-193
8 Popular religious imagery at Kumbakonam | Anna L Dallapiccola  | 148
9  Shapes of identity and time: A ‘royal’ temple in contemporary south India | Samuel K Parker | 168
Traditional Architecture and Modernity | 194-207
10  Continuing tradition: Islamic architecture in modern Pakistan | Kamil Khan Mumtaz | 194
11  Approaching history through design and design through history | Adam Hardy | 208
General Bibliography | 229
Index | 241

Published by Saffron Books, an EAPGROUP imprint

ISBN 9781872843322 Hardcover
248 pages. More than 270 illustrations, colour and black-and-white

Series Editor: Sajid Rizvi
Saffron Asian Art & Society Series: ISSN 1748 3103

Additional information

Weight .950 kg
Dimensions 240 × 160 × 21 mm



More than 270 illustrations, colour and black-and-white

Size: Height [h] x Width [w] x Spine depth [d]

Binding & Materials

Sewn, hard bound, endpapers, silk matt 30gsm, frontcover gold stamped, laminated

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