Early Indian photography history at Jaipur

Dr Asok Kumar Das is an Art Historian, Author, Former Director, City Palace Museum, Jaipur. He is an expert with 40 years of experience in the field of museums, museology and curation.

This interview reveals the history of early Indian photography through the work of Sawai Ram Singh II, the ruler of Jaipur in the 19th century. According to Dr Das, the ruler was a genius who established Jaipur’s first college, a Sanskrit college and the exhibition building now called the Central Museum or Albert Hall, amongst other pioneering work.

The photographs of Ram Singh help us understand the lives of the women of the Jaipur Zenana – the 1st time ever!!! Dr Das, the then Director, tells us how the Museum staff were washing off the glass plates and he accidentally discovered that they were originally the work of Ram Singh II and salvaged them. Till then, he had searched for these glass plates!

The work of Sawai Ram Singh was saved, documented and curated by him in 1985 into an exhibition called ‘The Photographer Prince’ – the exhibition catalogue is uploaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vJHx…

You will also find the article written by Dr Das in 1988 for ‘The India Magazine’ here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LrPl…


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