Space Age: The celestial art of Desmond Lazaro


The art of Desmond Lazaro is a manifestation of his meticulous research in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, and astrophysics, interpreted through the lens of the miniature art traditions he has imbibed

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‘India’s Maharajas, Beyond Dancing Girls & Elephants’ by Manu S Pillai

The Woman Who Ruled Cochin by Raghu and Pushpa Palat

Koh-e Asmai – The unspoken words of Havva


In this essay, Arshi Irshad Ahmadzai takes us into the beating heart of her art practice that carries the fragrance of Najibabad and Kabul, and the poetry of Rumi and Ghalib

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Wild Child: The world of Gond artist Japani Shyam


Taking forward her father’s shining legacy, Japani Shyam has developed her own voice, distinctive styles, point of view and stories to tell in the medium of Gond art

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Stretch of imagination: The rise of panoramic photography in India


Tracing the popularisation of the panorama in photography, from its invention by a painter to the pioneering work of Felice Beato

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Coins of Ancient India: A Sarmaya roundup


Our new numismatic acquisitions span the timeline between 200 BCE and 950 CE, representing a diversity of epochs in that millennium

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One tradition, many lives: The Indian miniature

We welcome some priceless miniature paintings into our collection, including the Mughal Hamzanama by exploring the many traditions of this practice in the Sarmaya collection

How to collect rare coins in India

Madhubani paintings: Hidden Dalit histories


Hailing from a family of pioneering Dalit artists, Urmila Devi and Shravan Paswan talk about their trials and triumphs in the world of Madhubani art

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This Just In


Why do we collect what we do? The inexorable pull of nostalgia. The simple human need to draw closer to beauty. The undeniable thrill of acquisition. All these influence the act of collecting. At our archive, each potential addition to the collection is judged by one other criteria: Can this object expand our understanding of the Indian subcontinent and its inexhaustible vault of stories?

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Learning Links Foundation

Madras Talkies – Reading List

Reeling them in – How Tamil cinema shaped politics

Thanjavur – Country of Gods & Kings


Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Thanjavur welcomed large communities of Telugu and Marathi speakers as a consequence of Nayaka and Maratha conquests in Cholamandalam. The result was a slow mingling and simmering of cultural influences, resulting in the unique artistic heritage of this temple town

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Postcards from Madras

Postcards began at the end of the 19th century as a new kind of crossover between photography and the popular print market. In a collaboration with Picture Postcard Empire, we bring you a virtual exhibition of intriguing postcards from the city of Madras

Pondicherry Dreaming – Inside French India


How native Tamil and colonial French influences come together in the charming melting pot of Puducherry

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The Curious Case of Chennai’s Elleesan & the Dravidian proof

Madras Talkies


In 1639, a British trading company got permission from the local rulers to set up a factory on a thin strip of the Coromandel coast. Measuring about three square miles and lashed by the fury of the Bay of Bengal, Madraspatnam gave no early signs of the historic metropolis it would soon morph into

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