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RZ-279793-21

Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY 13244-0001)
Romita Ray (Project Director: December 2020 to present)
Taj of the Raj? Decolonizing the Imperial Collections, Architecture, and Gardens of the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Planning and holding a workshop and virtual symposium on Indian, British, and American contributions to the architecture, collections, and gardens of Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta. (12 months) 

Our collaborative project focuses on the Indian legacy of the Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH), an imperial museum and memorial to Queen Victoria set amidst 64 acres of gardens in Calcutta (Kolkata). While a handful of scholars have discussed the VMH as an imperial museum, the histories of Indian contributions to its imperial legacy remain largely overlooked. Remarkably, these contributions were entangled with British imperial art, architecture, and gardens, as well as with American collections of European art. As such, the VMH represents the confluence of Indian, British, and American networks of art, architecture, and garden-design. Our project investigates how the VMH’s Indian legacy was shaped by these transnational networks, and how that legacy might be analyzed within the broader context of decolonizing imperial histories. This project involves scholars from the United States, the UK, and India, who will participate, first, in an exploratory workshop at the VMH and, next, in a virtual symposium.

Project fields:
Architecture; Art History and Criticism; History of Science

Program:
Collaborative Research

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$23,247 (approved)
$23,247 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2021 – 9/30/2022