Amit Roy, Thursday, The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata), April 17, 2008Tagore & Jamini Roy to go under hammer
-Seven paintings acquired by british collector to be auctioned in May
London, April 16: Two sought after paintings by Rabindranath Tagore which the British collector, W.G. Archer, acquired while working in pre-independence India as a civil servant, are being offered for sale in London. [...]
Whether the Bengalis will be moved similarly to protect their heritage remains to be seen. [...]
Another five paintings by Jamini Roy (1887-1972), with reserve prices of up to £12,000 (Rs 9.5 lakh), from Archer’s extensive collection are also included among 120 works in Sotheby’s annual sale of Indian Art due to be held on May 2.
The five, all tempera on card, are Santal Drummers, Christ with the Cross, and A Santal Couple, while two are untitled. The first two were acquired directly from the artist in Calcutta in 1941, demonstrating Archer certainly knew how to spot a bargain. [...]
Sotheby’s has provided some fascinating background on Archer, whose grandson is selling from his grandfather’s collection.
William George Archer (1907-1979) (more commonly known as “Bill” Archer) and his wife Mildred Agnes Bell (1911-2005) (“Tim” Archer) found inspiration for their life-long studies in India, where they lived for more than a decade before Indian independence.
They shared a great passion for the richness of Indian daily life, particularly in Bihar, where they spent most of their time and where they came across and wrote about the folk painting traditions of Madhubani and the culture and literature of the Uraon, Santal and other tribal communities.
Together they assembled an impressive collection of Pahari paintings. On returning to England in 1948, William took charge of the Indian department at the Victoria and Albert Museum where he remained for 18 years while his wife catalogued Indian paintings at the India Office Library for some 25 years. [...]
Zara Porter Hill, director and head of Indian Art at Sotheby’s, commented: “The international focus on India and Indian art continues to gather momentum and the contemporary scene, in particular, is really flourishing.”
Source: The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Tagore & Jamini Roy to go under hammer
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