Gobardhan Ash: the quiet master artist

A silent, dedicated artist content amidst the walls of paintings stacked in his Begampur mud house stirred a quiet revolution against the preconceived notions of artistic expression. No wonder Gobardhan Ash (b.1907) carved a niche for himself as an individualistic artist who fearlessly explored diverse artistic styles and techniques.

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Gobardhan Ash: the quiet master artist

An introduction to the Weavers' Service Centre

Years ago, artists from various walks of life gravitated towards a creative anomaly near Mumbai's Opera House. The Weavers' Service Centre was established in the 1950s by Pupul Jayakar. Masters such as Prabhakar Barwe, Anand Mohan Naik, Gautam Waghela, Ramesh Vaghela, and Gopal Adivrekar designed textiles at the center for years to support themselves while exploring their identities as artists. 

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An introduction to the Weavers' Service Centre

How to acquire antiques online

While the good old days of sauntering amidst quaint antique stores and art galleries might be on hold for now, the thrill of the hunt has now shifted online. And if done right, antique shopping can be rewarding – by uncovering an elaborate piece of history or acquiring artworks that speak to you. If the antique collector in you is tugging at your sleeve to bring home vintage furniture and rare collectibles, follow our lead.

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How to acquire antiques online

Antiques and their provenance

In the world of antiquing, provenance refers to the history of an acquired object. The provenance of a piece traces its origin back to its owner(s) or where it comes from. A certain artifact could belong to a previous era, like a glorious chandelier that once illuminated the ballroom of a magnificent palace. Or a scatter of old maps, manuscripts, and sheets quietly tucked away in between the pages of old books at a library.

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Antiques and their provenance

An introduction to antiquing

Antiques from the past quietly turn back the clock to bygone days. Nostalgia wafts in the air as the musty scent of age-old rarities fills your senses. And soon, you realize that antiquing is less about a point in time and more about timelessness. Be it a wise old Satinwood chest of drawers or an elaborate Rosewood cabinet that stood the test of time, these old keepsakes possess an eternal charm.

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An introduction to antiquing

Art Deco elements for the contemporary home

The old school glamour of The Great Gatsby meets the 21st century home. The magic of the roaring '20s is very much in vogue today owing to the endless allure of Art Deco's luxurious and lavish style. Be it a wise old satinwood chest of drawers or a sturdy Rosewood cabinet that creaks with wisdom, each art deco element fits like a glove in the contemporary home.

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Art Deco elements for the contemporary home

Set in wood

Wood has stayed in our hearts and homes for centuries. And yet, its versatility remains timeless. The look and feel of a wooden piece of furniture are known to transcend time and geography.

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Set in wood

Art Deco

Art Deco is an opulent and alluring visual arts design style that unfolded in the 1920s in France. It burgeoned internationally in the early 1940s. This style still has a boundless influence on everything from architecture to sculpture, interiors to jewelry, furniture to car design. It is no doubt that Art Deco is a conspiracy between many styles and movements to please every connoisseur out there.

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Art Deco

Bhanu Athaiya by Ranjit Hoskote

Bhanu Athaiya: The legacy of a long-hidden sun  I. It was D.G. Nadkarni, elder statesman among Bombay’s art critics, who first told me that Bhanu Athaiya had trained as a painter and had once shown alongside the members of the Progressive Artists' Group (PAG).

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Bhanu Athaiya by Ranjit Hoskote

Atul Bose and the Art of Portraiture

The art of portraiture seems much more enticing today when we live in a world where ‘portraits’ can be created at the click of a button with a single handheld device. There is something enigmatic about how artists in the past captured personalities with strokes of the brush and immortalized them in portraits. There is something romantic about the notion of portraits themselves, and how a sensitive artist could capture the physical characteristics as well as the psychological aspect of the subject of the portrait. 

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Atul Bose and the Art of Portraiture

Pages from Bhanu's handwritten notes

"My father, a multifaceted man, was far ahead of the times. His thirst for knowledge led him to explore avenues of learning beyond scholastic and academic boundaries. He would travel to Mumbai frequently to collect books on various subjects ranging from painting to photography and embroidery to film making. These books were imported from Britain by Englishmen who had big stores in Mumbai.

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Pages from Bhanu's handwritten notes

Bhanu's ode to the Progressive Artists' Group

Bombay, May 2010 - "I was exposed to paintings from a very young age. My father was a self-taught artist who sometimes painted in oils by studying the old European masters and sometimes following his own inspiration. In his studio, he had many books on paintings of European masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Turner, Gainsboro, Constable, and others. I enjoyed looking at these books just as I enjoyed washing my father's brushes and pallet.

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Bhanu's ode to the Progressive Artists' Group

The two worlds of watchmaking

The annals of the watchmaking history fondly remember the winter of 1969. It was at this time that Seiko, the Japanese watchmaker, introduced The Astron, a timepiece that would change the dynamics of the watch industry forever. It marked the beginning of the Quartz Revolution.

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The two worlds of watchmaking

The legacy of Annasaheb Rajopadhye

The city of Kolhapur in southern Maharashtra is often called Kalapur, a city of the arts: a tag that originated in the early twentieth century. This was a result of a social and cultural transformation initiated by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj (1874-1922).

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The legacy of Annasaheb Rajopadhye

Bhanu Athaiya - by Meher Castelino

She was born to design! As a girl of nine years, she passed the elementary and intermediate art examinations and won a scholarship to the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai at nineteen. That is Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar-winning designer for the mega-blockbuster film, “Gandhi” by Sir Richard Attenborough in 1982.

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Bhanu Athaiya - by Meher Castelino

Art of Atul Bose - by Partha Mitter

Atul Bose (1898-1977) was virtually forgotten in the decades following independence when the Progressive Artists of Bombay dominated in the era of Nehruvian modernism. Recently, many of these earlier artists are undergoing significant reassessment.

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Art of Atul Bose - by Partha Mitter

The Quintessential Persian Carpet

The world's fascination with Persian carpets existed long before we heard tales of Aladdin and his Magic Carpet. A thousand stories of its weavers, their craftsmanship, and a promise to transport you to faraway lands stitch together the fabric of the quintessential Persian carpet. The history of its artistic magnificence dates back to 500 BC.

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The Quintessential Persian Carpet



Capturing the Zeitgeist : Progressive Artists’ Group

Traversing the world of art can be a game of clue hunt. Sometimes, even if there is a lot documented about a group of artists and their works, one tends to find a thread that can become an enticing exploration in itself. A lot has been written about the Progressive Artists' Group, which was formed in India in the year 1947.

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Capturing the Zeitgeist : Progressive Artists’ Group

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