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The IIC Experience: A Festival of the Arts

1st to 7th November 2012


Installation of books and images by European travellers of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries

From The India Collection

Installation of the Silk Route Map

By children of Mirambika School

Inauguration by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Life Trustee IIC and Chairperson, IIC Asia-Project        

On view in Conference Room – I


The present exhibition, is an attempt to re-introduce the India Collection to the public.   It focuses on works of travel which form only a section of the range and variety of writings on India from the 17th -19th century. A selection of books have been culled to introduce the travel section and the exhibition includes, digital images of the paintings and engravings with brief biographical notes on these authors/travelers, displays of books and antique maps.

The oldest book in the Collection is by a Dutch Minister, Father Phillipus Baldaeus who travelled along the East India Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel and to the ‘isle of Ceylon’. This was translated from the Dutch and printed in Amsterdam in 1672.

 Some of the books being highlighted are two volumes of engravings and acquatints by William Hodges (1786), Charles Gold’ s Oriental Drawings (1806),dedicated to Lord Cornwallis; and Captain Robert Elliot’s marvelous engravings published in Views of India in 1835, The Collection contains several books by intrepid women travelers or those who accompanied family or spouse, and recorded their visits to India.   The accounts highlighted in the exhibition are Fanny Parkes’, Wanderings of a Pilgrim in search of the picturesque, 2 vols (1850).

On display is an extraordinary collection of botanical and bird drawings from James Forbes’ 4 volume book, Oriental Memoirs, published in 1813. The exhibition will also include a series of architectural drawings.

An interesting book the India Collection has is Francis Buchanan’s journey from Madras to the countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar. This 3-volume book published in 1807 was commissioned by the Marquis of Wellesley to assess the newly conquered territories acquired after the fall of Tipu Sultan.

One of the earlier guide books in the Collection are Joachim Hayward Stocqueler’s The Handbook of India: a guide to the stranger and the traveler, and a companion to the resident. This was published in 1854. Stocqueler was a former editor of The Englishman.    By the late 19th century the guide book became a necessary possession for any traveler and the India Collection has a selection of Murray’s Handbooks to the various Presidencies.   However, at this exhibition, on display is an 1890 Overland guide to India and Colonial Manual by the well known cartographer and printer, George Bradshaw. This illustrated version on display, was a manual for travelers in Egypt, Turkey, Persia and India with maps and overland routes.  

The exhibition also includes a map-installation of the Silk Road by the Mirambika School as well as a display of a variety of modern maps.


Source: India International Centre - 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi - 110003 | 011-24619431
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