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Please join us for this two-part lecture cosponsored by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and supported by Jai & Sugandha Hiremath – Hikal Ltd. An invitation to this event may be found here


Art and Science of the Forbes Pigment Collection by Narayan Khandekar

Dr Narayan Khandekar tells us about the Forbes Pigment Collection. It will cover the reasons why Edward Waldo Forbes started collecting pigments, how the collection grew, new additions to the collection and how it is used now by using case studies from the activities of the Straus Centre for Conservation and Technical Studies.

Narayan Khandekar leads the Strauss Center’s conservation and research activities, as well as those for the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art. Specializing in the scientific analysis of paintings and painted surfaces, he has published extensively on the subject. He curates the Forbes Pigment Collection and the Gettens Collection of Binding Media and Varnishes.

Color and Pigments in Indian Painting by Jinah Kim

How blue is Krishna? Does the Sankrit term “kṛṣṇa” mean blue? Color experience is highly subjective, and color terms pose semiotic challenges. A fluid semantic range in Sanskrit makes it even more challenging to identify which color a color term denotes. Here, the data gleaned from scientific analysis of pigments and the study of material and physical aspects of paintings as objects can help unpack the role of artists in shaping the way we see color. Identifying pigments in use in Indian miniature painting and reading them in close comparison with the colors discussed in theoretical texts and artistic treatises, afford us a glimpse into artists’ intimate, embodied knowledge of each color’s material properties.  This talk will demonstrate how efforts to contextualize the analytical data on pigments with art historical questions can help advance our understanding of color and pigments in the history of painting beyond a matter of confirmation of a pigment’s use.

Jinah Kim is the Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture. Professor Kim’s research and teaching interests cover a broad range of topics with special interests in intertextuality of text-image relationship, art and politics, female representations and patronage, issues regarding re-appropriation of sacred objects, and post-colonial discourse in the field of South and Southeast Asian Art.