Sunday, August 30, 2015 - 4:00pm
India Community Center, 525 Los Coches Street, Milpitas
The City and Its Nineteenth Century Guidebook.
There are numerous art objects in museums all over the world dateable to the Sikh rule but comparatively few extant architectural structures in the Punjab, primarily due to very little preservation efforts. Both genres have caught relatively little scholarly attention following the general consensus that they carry no significant characteristics, therefore, presumed to offer little that could be explored. It is interesting to see that post-annexation British historiography appears to have played a significant role in this regard This presentation will draw attention to the Sikh architectural heritage of Lahore; the main seat of power during the Sikh rule in the Punjab (1799-1849), and a guidebook published in the nineteenth century by a British officer for this city. Before discussing the impact of this text on later Sikh art and architectural historiography, the audience will be introduced to some significant Sikh period buildings in Lahore with their brief history and image slides. These include the Dera Sahib Gurdwara, Hazuri Bagh baradari (pavilion), havelis (mansions) of Kharak Singh and Naunehal Singh, and samadhis (funerary monuments) of Bhae Wasti Ram and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The objective is to invite a fresh analysis and appreciation of Sikh architectural ornament, to encourage scholarly interest in this field, and to revisit and evaluate the text that appears to have had a strong impact on its reception and treatment.
Nadhra Khan teaches art history at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore and is currently in the US as a Fulbright Fellow at Princeton University. Her primary area of research and interest is 19th Century Sikh Art and Architectural Ornament in the Punjab, but she also focuses on Mughal Art and Architecture (16th to 18th century). Her work emphasizes the significance of the Sikh period as the last episode of centuries old indigenous art and architectural tradition before annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849 that changed, among other things, the visual culture of the Punjab forever. A research project that started with one Sikh funerary monument or samadhi built to honor Maharaja Ranjit Singh has led her to study almost all major monuments dateable to this period, including the Golden Temple Amritsar, Sikh period havelis and various other samadhis. Her current research includes the impact of Sikh architectural vocabulary on subsequent British Raj architecture in the Punjab and the deep impact of British art and craft education on traditional art and craft practices.
For more information, please contact
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This special lecture event is made possible through
generous support of the Fulbright OLF Scholar Program
Presented in partnership with
Free and open to the public, but please pre register.