National Crafts Museum – New Delhi


Tiger depicted in a Madhubani wall painting in the Crafts Museum New Delhi – Indian Stamp 2010

National Crafts Museum New Delhi
Ministry of Textiles, Government of India
Pragati Maidan
Bhairon Road
New Delhi

Madhubani tribal art 2010 stamp

The institution of the museum, aimed at housing objects of antiquity, is of Western origin.  Indians themselves did not have a tradition of setting up museums of fragmented sculptures, rusted swords and out of context painting.  Broken images were immersed in holy water, worn-out objects were left to decay and merge with the very earth from which they were created. It is due to this continuous process of abandonment of the old and reproduction of the new that the tradition of craftsmanship have formidably survived in India. as archaeological museum concept in the nineteenth century, it missed out on the fact that, unlike the West, the ‘past’ and ‘present’ were not so severely divided in its case, and it therefore failed to give adequate importance in its museums to the evolving context of its culture – the living practices of rituals; festivals; weekly markets; picture-shows of itinerant storytellers; the materials, techniques and tools of artisans; the cultural changes and the attitude towards the past and the contemporary tradition as such.  it is this overlooked dimension of Indian culture which is emphasised in the concept of the Crafts Museum. […]

The core collection of the Crafts Museum was put together in the 1950s and’ 60z to serve as reference material for the craftsmen whose hereditary traditions were fading on the face of modern industrialization. […]

The Scales and proportions of the building are based on those of the traditional Indian village where objects of everyday life are hand made and used.

Source: National Handicrafts
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Date Visited: Sat Sep 03 2011 12:21:07 GMT+0200 (CEST)

The Collection
The Museum’s collection of about 22,000 objects, covers a range of bronze images, lamps and incense burners; ritual accessories; utensils and other items of everyday use; wood and stone carving; papier mache; ivories, dolls, toys, puppets and masks; jewellery; decorative metalware including bidri work; paintings; terracotta and cane and bamboo work.  The Museum’s rare collections include carved wooden figures of the bhutas, folk deities of coastal Karnataka; tribal bronzes from Chhattisgarh; carved wooden architecture of Gujarat represented by a whole haveli (traditional house), jharokha (balcony) and a palatial facade; embroidered, beaded and printed wall hangings; saris employing techniques of brocade, ikat, jamdani and tie-and-dye.  The above collection is displayed in five galleries as mentioned in the classified information.  Moreover, there is a reference collection, comprising about 15,000 objects which can be used by scholars, designers, craftsmen and interested public for study and research.  While brief captions provide basic information about the displayed objects, for further information the  Museum’s catalogue could be consulted in the library.

Source: Home
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Date Visited: Sat Sep 03 2011 12:24:04 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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