Arts of South Asia: Cultures of Collecting
Each of the eight essays in this book brings to life histories embodied in objects that have journeyed from the Indian subcontinent, Cambodia or Indonesia to museums outside South Asia. We learn how individuals like Chester Beatty, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Nasli Heermaneck and some of the many women donors of Newark Museum in New Jersey acquired works; how collectors and curators interpreted and exhibited them; and how, in a few instances, institutions returned them to their country of origin. The cast of characters includes collectors, dealers, scholars and curators interacting within historical contexts. Whether works are carved doors, Mughal paintings, bidriware from South Central India or statuary from Hindu temples, their stories address universal questions of representation and ownership. And the chronological span of these case studies―from the early 1800s to the 2010s―highlights the changes in attitudes and values. Lavishly illustrated, deeply researched and well-written, this book will prove valuable to scholars and non-scholars alike.