Traces of India: Photography, Architecture, and the Politics of Representation, 1850-1900

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"This book investigates the different cultural roles played by photographs of Indian architecture from the latter half of the nineteenth century, an inquiry stretching from their pre-history to their migration into book illustrations, calendar art, and religious imagery." "Beyond the apparent purposes of these images - as picturesque views, scientific records of an architectural past, political memorials, travel mementos, textbook vignettes - deeper considerations influenced the way their makers worked in selecting, framing, composing, and
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Overview

"This book investigates the different cultural roles played by photographs of Indian architecture from the latter half of the nineteenth century, an inquiry stretching from their pre-history to their migration into book illustrations, calendar art, and religious imagery." "Beyond the apparent purposes of these images - as picturesque views, scientific records of an architectural past, political memorials, travel mementos, textbook vignettes - deeper considerations influenced the way their makers worked in selecting, framing, composing, and populating their representations. Shaping the viewer's thinking about what they represented, these images remain enduring records of a way of seeing, of minds as well as monuments, and exist today as artefacts of the visual culture of colonialism." Twelve essays from scholars working in several disciplines (history, anthropology, art history, and the history of photography) show how photographs of architecture reveal the inescapable ways in which the practice of image making is aligned with the purposes of power, the presumptions accompanying the encounter with strangeness, the internal order of the colonial and the scientific mind, and even our metaphysical dispositions toward the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The first point to note in this vast photographic catalog is that the phrase "politics of representation" has nothing to do with electing representatives and everything to do with the way photographs of colonial India and Ceylon presented the architecture and monuments of those civilizations to a primarily European audience. The exhibition of this catalog's 180 photos will travel from the Canadian Centre for Architecture to Yale Center for British Art, neatly demonstrating the emphases on art, architecture, and academic discussion of colonial history that the 12 essays in the book present. Focusing on official and semiofficial photographers of the colonial period, this catalog analyzes the way Europeans governing India thought about the diverse cultures they were viewing and how the composition of the photos they took reflect and inform that view. All of the essays, written by a variety of scholars and curators and arranged thematically, are academic but readable for an educated public. The quality of the reproductions is very high, but this reviewer wishes that many of them had been accorded the full page they deserve. This catalog is most appropriate for academic art, architecture, and South Asian studies collections.-David McClelland, Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300098969
  • Publisher: Yale Center for British Art
  • Publication date: 5/20/2003
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 8
Acknowledgements 10
Introduction 13
Map 19
From Stone to Paper: Photographs of Architecture and the Traces of History 20
Pt. 1 Projecting India
Antiquarianism, Visuality, and the Exotic Monument: William Hodges's A Dissertation 60
Rites of Passage: A Frenchman's Albums of British India 86
Pt. 2 Capturing India's Past
The Compulsions of Visual Representation in Colonial India 108
"This Noble Triumph of Photography": Linnaeus Tripe's Thanjavur Inscription Panorama 140
Pattern of Photographic Surveys: Joseph Lawton in Ceylon 154
Photography and Architecture at the Calcutta International Exhibition 174
Pt. 3 Memorializing the Raj
Colonial America and the Old Regime in the Photographs of Linnaeus Tripe 196
Pictorializing the "Mutiny" of 1857 216
Monuments and Memorials: Lord Curzon's Creation of a Past for the Raj 240
Pt. 4 Reimagining India
Some Indian "Views of India": The Ethics of Representation 262
The Sacred Circulation of National Images 276
Notes 293
Chronology 307
Biographical Notes: Photographers and Artists Working in India 317
Bibliography 323
Contributors 336
Index 338
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2009

    Asst Librarian/Researcher

    Good background material in understanding Indian culture. Not a badly priced book considering the subject. Comes recommended.

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