SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

The Making of the Modern Indian Craftsman: Devi Prasad

Naman Ahuja (JNU, New Delhi)

Date: 12 October 2011Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 12 October 2011Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

This lecture is a biographical and critical insight into the work of India’s pioneering artist-potter, educationist and pacifist, Devi Prasad (1921 – 2011). The gentle sensibilities of his oeuvre belie the fact that they are actually based on a powerful, near-revolutionary mandate that affected not just the history of design in India, but the very basis and nature of India’s policies on education. Positing an aesthetic basis for India’s Freedom struggle, this lecture – and the recently published book on which it is based (Routledge 2011) - leads us to the impact of the Arts and Crafts Movement on Gandhi, Tagore and Coomaraswamy, each of whom influenced Devi Prasad. His story, then, exemplifies how an inheritance of the Arts and Crafts Movement shaped the nature of Modernism in India.

Naman P. Ahuja is Associate Professor of Ancient Indian Art and Architecture at J N U, New Delhi.

Organiser: Crispin Branfoot

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