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Empire of Faith: Into the realm of the Buddha & the Mauryas

Most Indians are familiar with the great emperors and exploits of the Mauryan empire. But until a few hundred years ago, their legacies lay buried in ruins, their faith forgotten by time. This is the story of a remarkable resurrection

Of Silk and Spice: A Tale of Two Empires

Sometimes rulers are remembered in song, sometimes in the clinking of coins. Let’s explore the empires of the Cheras and Kushans, whose greatness is echoed in the trade routes they forged

Family Portraiture: An attempt at reading a personal album

We dive into a study of family portraiture with a set of three albums belonging to John Sinclair, the First Lord Pentland, and the Governor of Madras between 1912 and 1919—and draw out the themes that emerge from this treasure trove of 20th-century photography

Parallel Histories: Personal Photos as a Political Statement

Powerful pieces of imagery from personal albums are setting down in history what is otherwise undocumented and therefore unacknowledged, acting as the nuanced subtext that is drastically missing from our public rhetoric. We talk to the curators of these intimate archives

Portraits of a Pandemic

We asked photographers and artists how they interpreted the seasons of 2020 through their work to paint a portrait of an extraordinary year

Now reading: The stories every picture tells

An initiation into the Sarmaya team involves the confrontation of and acclimating to certain books from our library. New ‘uns are told this is necessary reading meant to familiarise them with the genres of the collection. Each object inhabits a world that is resonant and multi-faceted and it’s impossible to know where to start. “Today… Read more »

Early Photography

A 21st-century take on vintage photography techniques like platinum prints, stereoscopic photos and cyanotypes. Plus, an intriguing trail of portraits of Indian women from the Caribbean

Crossing Borders with Mithila

In this digital collaboration with the Mithila Museum in Japan, Sarmaya presents a breathtaking selection of works by the first-generation of Mithila artists to stun the global art world