A Rendezvous with traditional Indian jewellery

- April 7, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The book gives an overview of the main styles of traditional gold and silver jewellery in their regional variations, inspirational and aspirational journeys

Book Cover

Author Alka Raghuvanshi’s last written book, “A Rendezvous with traditional Indian jewellery’ will be launched on April 7 on the occasion of her 63rd birth anniversary by Ehaaas and Shubhi Publications.

The book is curated by Manisha Gawade and photographed by Avinash Pasricha. The launch is at the India International Centre.

The book gives an overview of the main styles of traditional gold and silver jewellery in their regional variations, inspirational and aspirational journeys.

It is a peek via the female gaze into the intriguing world of the feminine through the microcosm of ritual, marital and fertility symbols, the caste hierarchies, the oneness with nature, the economics of an agrarian society and the sheer perfection of craftsmanship. And yet while the consumers and to an extent designers may have been women, the creators of most jewellery still continue to be men.

In this sense perhaps this book is different from most others on this subject – for it delves into the entire nature-inspired concept of design from the point of the traditional Indian mindset, the socio-economic, marital and fertility related, the magico-religious-iconic connotations and manifestations and the main forms – kundan, jadau, meenakari and south Indian temple jewellery.

The most important publicly accessible collections of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the National Museum find place as they are the most important repositories of our historical legacy. And yet it makes no claim to being the last word -especially in the Indian context where tradition is perceived as a flowing river – ever changing, ever expanding, ever intensifying to enfold and nestle the incredible variations within its affectionate embrace.

Raghuvanshi’s writing career in arts spanned nearly 35 years, she documented an entire generation of artistes and artists who shaped the artistic heritage of the country in the last quarter of the century – captured in two books written by Dr. Raghuvanshi – A Moment in Time with Legends of Indian Arts and Pathfinders -artistes of one world. She authored and edited over 28 books including, Garhwal Himalayas-Chorus of Solitude, Indian Jewels-for a queen’s ransom. As series editor and initiator of the seven-part series Classical Dances of India with one book for each classical dance form written by top performers of the seven forms. She commissioned, edited and curated the visuals of the books. She commissioned and edited Smoking Beauties, a first-ever Indian publication on the heritage of steam engines in the country.

A senior columnist and author, she was on the editorial teams of the Indian Express, the Times of India and the BBC, where she consistently wrote to cover literature and the entire spectrum of the arts including dance, music, theatre, painting and crafts. As editor of Swagat she redesigned and re-launched the magazine to take into account the changed arts scenario in terms of design and coverage.For the first time in the history of journalism – a feat that has not been repeated since – she was able to run an arts page every day for half a decade as the arts editor of the Pioneer.

The page was a judicious mix of informed articles which treated the arts as part of hard news spectrum and fearless reviews, covering the arts globally. She launched Pioneerarts.com, the first of its kind website on the performing and visual arts way back in 1999. She was India’s first trained art curator, trained at the Goldsmiths College, London and the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford. She curated and designed major exhibitions and wrote detailed catalogues and many of which travelled to other parts of the country and the world as well. All the exhibitions were marked by an amazing interplay of indigenous design and their contemporary connection.

When: 6pm, April 7

Where: India International CentreNew Wing, Kamla Devi Complex, 1-3 Seminar Hall, 1st Floor, 40 Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Estate