Arts, Patronage and Society in British and Mughal Delhi

Arts, Patronage and Society in British and Mughal Delhi

Artist (f.258b) Tashrih al-aqvam, an account of origins and occupations of some of the sects, castes, and tribes of India, written for Colonel James Skinner, 1825. Watercolor and body color on paper, H. 12 15⁄16 × W. 9 in. (31.3 × 22.9 cm). British Library, Add. 27255

Join noted scholars for an insightful discussion on the art and culture of the Mughal court. Speakers include Michael H. Fisher, Oberlin College; David Lelyveld, William Paterson University; and Frances Pritchett, Columbia University; moderated by Yuthika Sharma, art historian and co-curator of the exhibition Princes and Painters In Mughal Delhi.

Michael H. Fisher – "Between the Mughals and the British: The Perspective from Inside a Princess's Court"

David Lelyveld - "Seeing Delhi Whole: Sayyid Ahmad Khan's Asar us-sanadid"

Frances Pritchett - "In the Veil of a Painting"

Biographies of Speakers

Michael H. Fisher holds the Danforth Chair in History at Oberlin College. He has published many books and articles about the social, cultural, and political interactions between Indians and Europeans, in India and in Europe, from the 16th century onward.  His most recent book, The Inordinately Strange Life of Dyce Sombre: Victorian Anglo Indian M.P. and Chancery 'Lunatic' (co-published, London: Hurst; New York: Columbia University Press; Delhi: Cambridge University Press/Foundation Books, 2010), traces the life of a subject of the late Mughal Empire who emigrated to Britain and became the first Asian in the British Parliament, as well as a putative lunatic.

David Lelyveld is the author of Aligarh’s First Generation: Muslim Solidarity in British India (1978, reprinted 2003) and co-author of A Wilderness of Possibilities: Urdu Studies in Transnational Perspective (2005). His most recent publications deal with the social and political history of Urdu and its differentiation from Hindi.  His current project is Sir Syed and Macaulay’s Curse.

Frances Pritchett is a Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University. She has worked mostly on classical ghazal and dastan, and maintains a very large academic website for teachers and students of South Asia that can be found through a google search of her name.  Her books include Nets of Awareness: Urdu Poetry and Its Critics. (University of California Press, 1994); The Romance Tradition in Urdu: Adventures from the Dastan of Amir Hamzah (Columbia University Press, 1991); and (with Khaliq Ahmad Khaliq), Urdu Meter: A Practical Handbook (University of Wisconsin, 1987). She is currently working on a commentary on the entire collection of Urdu poetry of Mirza Asadullah Khan (1797-1869). This work-in-progress in available online as A Desertful of Roses: the Urdu Ghazals of Mirza Asadullah Khan “Ghalib".

Yuthika Sharma (moderator) expects to receive her PhD in South Asian art and architecture from the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, in May this year. Her research looks at the artistic culture of Delhi, manuscripts, and collecting in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries.  Her publications include “A House of Wonder: Silver at the Delhi Durbar Exhibition of 1903,” in Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj (2008).

In conjunction with the Asia Society Museum exhibition Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857, on view through May 6.

Exhibition website

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Supported in part by The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

Event Details

14 April 2012
2:00pm - 4:00pm

725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York, NY

$15 Asia Society members; $17 students with ID/seniors; $20 non-members