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The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan: Lutyens and Beyond

 
Partha Mitter (Editor) Naman P. Ahuja (Editor) Joginder Singh (Photography) RB Series
Synopsis

This volume brings together the scholarly attention of different specialists on the history of art, visual culture, furniture, carpets and textiles, and paintings of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Their chapters provide an illuminating political and cultural history of the interior design of India's presidential residence which was originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens to be the house for the British viceroy. The book also provides a detailed catalogue of select artworks kept in the house. Rich illustrations reveal how the interiors stand now, and they are contrasted with archival photographs that show how the house has evolved over the past 90 years. The book also contains previously unpublished plans and sketches for the decor of the interiors of the house some of which date back to as early as 1914- these provide a rare glimpse into how it was originally intended.

While the architecture of the actual edifice of the Rashtrapati Bhavan may be Lutyens's most enduring legacy, the interiors of the building preserve a much more versatile history. This volume traces how Lutyens achieved a stylish interior that accommodated the tastes and needs of various British aristocratic residents, politicians and bureaucrats, but equally had to impress an Indian public-for which, it needed also to incorporate a vocabulary of Indian design ornament.

After the independence of India, many symbols of the colonial empire were rendered inappropriate and the interiors of the Rashtrapati Bhavan had to be transformed into the home of the president of a democratic republic with a rich history. This glimpse into the tastes of its different residents and the compulsions that guided them traces a most telling history of a changing world.

This volume is one in a series that documents different aspects of the rich cultural, social and historical legacy of the Rashtrapati Bhavan as a national institution.

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About the authors

Partha Mitter

Partha Mitter is Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex.  His books include Much Maligned Monsters: A History of European Reactions to Indian Art (1977), Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850-1922 (1994) and Indian Art (2001).

Naman P. Ahuja

Dr. Naman P. Ahuja is Associate Professor of Ancient Indian Art and Architecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where his research and graduate teaching focus on Indian iconography and sculpture, temple architecture and Sultanate period painting. He has curated several exhibitions on themes ranging from ancient to contemporary Indian art.

Joginder Singh

Joginder Singh has been a celebrated Indian Police Service Officer. He retired as distinguished career from 1961 to 1997 His father, late Mahant Kartar Singh was the biggest “ Positive Thinker” according to him. Mr Singh is a well known columnist to several newspapers, writer, thinker and stylist. He has authored 35 books, so far, with many more in the pipeline. Some of his books have been translated in other Indian languages, also one in Bhasha Indonesia. He is in great demand, both as an author, and a motivational speaker, as ten of his self development. His columns appear regularly both in national and regional dailies in English and vernacular languages. Dimension of his learning and many facts of his personality are reflected in all his writings.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan: Lutyens and Beyond
Series RB Series
Format Hardcover
Date published: 23.08.2016
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788123021300
length 334p., Illustrations; Colour; 30cm.