Conference: Taj of the Raj: The Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Event time: 
Friday, September 15, 2023 - 2:00pm to Sunday, September 17, 2023 - 2:00pm
Loria Center for the History of Art (LORIA), 351 See map
190 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

The conference draws together leading scholars from India, the UK and USA to offer new critical perspectives on the history, architecture and collections of the Victoria Memorial Hall. Histories of empire, the future of museum collections and the international role of South Asia are today topics of urgent import, and the VMH offers a unique case study. It embodies the fraught relationships between museums, imperial histories and post-Independence India. The conference will offer a new critical analysis of the institution informed by contemporary theoretical concerns.
An imposing marble building designed by the architect William Emerson, amidst 64 acres of spectacular gardens laid out by David Prain and Lord Redesdale, the VMH was dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. Martin and Company, an engineering firm founded by Rajendra Nath Mookerjee and Thomas Martin, built the museum. The elaborate gardens offer an important case study in horticulture and urban ecology. The collections, forming a visual legacy of the British Raj, include European paintings; colonial sculpture; historic photographs; colonial textiles; Mughal, Rajput and Bengal School paintings; and musical instruments.
Sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities, The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, and Syracuse University.