Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Priya Paul Popular Arts Collection" and a "New Grant for Tasveer Ghar"

We are delighted to announce the following new exciting projects and features of our growing archive:

1. The Priya Paul Collection of Visual Popular Art@Tasveerghar:

Priya Paul, a well known Indian entrepreneur and the current Chairperson of Apeejay Park Hotels, has been an ardent collector of Indian art, contemporary as well as popular/archival art. Her collection of old posters, calendars, postcards, commercial advertisements, textile labels and cinema posters, painstakingly accumulated over several decades, is one of the finest archives of such ephemera in India. Tasveer Ghar was commissioned to digitize and archive this important collection in 2008. Each image needed careful handling, cleaning, scanning, digital photography, classification, and creation of detailed metadata. It took more than 3 months to physically handle and scan the images into raw digital data. Part of the work was funded by the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context“ at Heidelberg University. The formatting and digital restoration of all files as well as the metadata creation is still ongoing. It is estimated that when we are all done, we will have the digital versions of over 5000 images in the archive covering a broad range of subjects including Indian nationalism, Hindu mythology, Islamic iconography, commercial advertisements, popular cinema, and portraits. This digital image archive will soon be available on Tasveer Ghar’s website for all to see and benefit from. Specified thematic image-clusters would also be used by specialists/scholars to write visual essays. We also present here a short video interview of Priya Paul about her art collection (recorded in October 2008).

2. New Grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Tasveer Ghar has received a generous grant of three years of funding from the German Research Foundation. This grant emerges from Tasveer Ghar’s collaboration with Heidelberg University’s new Cluster of Excellence, “Asia and Europe in a Global Context. Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows” (see This grant will enable Tasveer Ghar to launch a new initiative on Eurasian Muslim Popular Visual Culture, as well as strengthen our capacity to work across and beyond the South Asian region from Delhi, and develop institutional ties with the Cluster members at the Karl Jaspers Centre, Heidelberg, as well as international partners. Our collaboration with Heidelberg University’s Cluster of Excellence will lead us to track (a) the flows of images and concepts between Europe and Asia, and within Asia; and (b) further ongoing collaboration with European and Asian institutions/scholars/ students/practitioners. The moving and still images collected and tagged in this process will be fed into already-existing image archives of both Tasveer Ghar and the Karl Jaspers Centre.