The Long Arc of South Asian Art

Essays in Honour of Vidya Dehejia

Edited by Annapurna Garimella

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The long arc of art historical enquiry in the Indian subcontinent spans several centuries, and virtually all the arts, from temple architecture and sculpture to the striking of coins.

The 22 essays in this volume, a tribute to the pioneering work of Vidya Dehejia, cover ancient Buddhist architecture, temple design and construction, Rajput and Mughal paintings and manuscripts, colonial-era photography, ornament, and museology.

Each author traverses or furthers a field that Dehejia herself may have opened up for examination, moving beyond contemporary conceptual questions in art history and offering fascinating insights into, for example, Indo-Roman trade and the Dakshinapatha, or the Indic carvings of Quanzhou; the transformation of the body through ritual discipline, or physical attribution; colonial representations of the “native subject” and what they reveal about the colonising project. The volume’s eclecticism extends to questions of materiality and agency; the politics and aesthetics of archaeological restoration; and the forming of divinity by human makers.

The contributors, thus, not only refer to Dehejia’s vast art historical canvas, they situate their rich archival research and fieldwork such as to contribute to the very framing of conceptual issues that she raised; enriching current scholarship in the field.

Annapurna Garimella

Annapurna Garimella is an art historian and designer. Her research focuses on late medieval Indic architecture, and the history and practices of vernacular visual and built cultures in India after Independence. She is the Managing Trustee of Art, Resources and Teaching Trust, a non-profit, and also heads Jackfruit Research and Design, an organisation with a specialised portfolio of design, research and curation.

Her latest book is the co-edited Marg volume, The Contemporary Hindu Temple: Fragments for a History. She is presently working on Digesting the Past: The Discourse of Sacralised Architectural Renovation in Southern India (14th-17th centuries).