Patrons and Philistines: Arts and the State in British India, 1773-1947

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Oxford University Press, 1995 - Art - 294 pages
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When through design and circumstance the British found themselves in possession of large parts of India, they had little idea of its arts and civilization, let alone any obvious interest in doing anything to promote or preserve Indian culture. Yet, by the time the British flag was lowered, the state had accepted some responsibility for the arts, which was extensive in some respects. Though India does not, as yet, have a comprehensive arts policy, there is an accepted and serious state commitment to the arts, the result of an evolution of ideas and actions over a period of time. The book traces this evolution from 1773, with the establishment of British rule in Bengal, to 1947, when power was handed over to an indigenous government. What motivated a non-indigenous government to intervene in the arts and for what aim? What and who influenced the state and shaped its policies? What were these policies and how were the choices made? How were they implemented? What was the effect on the arts? What legacy did the British government in India leave for its successor? These are some of the questions the book attempts to answer.

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Introduction 1
Setting the Stage
Renaissance and Regulation

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About the author (1995)

Mrs. Sundar was former Programme Director, National Foundation for India; and Programme Officer, Food Foundation, New Delhi.

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