Naman Ahuja. Nomad, Royal Flaneur and Influencer: The Cultural History of a 17th Century Red Velvet Tent

Naman Ahuja is a Professor and Dean of the School of Arts & Aesthetics at JNU. He is also the General Editor of Marg Publications which is India’s oldest publishing house dedicated to art and culture. He has curated some of the most important exhibitions of Indian art in the past ten years, including: The Body in Indian Art & Thought which was shown at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the National Museum in Delhi in 2013; and India & The World, in which 120 objects from the British Museum were staged in strategic dialogue with Indian objects at the CSMVS in Mumbai and the National Museum, Delhi. Over more than 30 published books and research papers, some of which have been widely translated, his scholarship has deepened our understanding of Indian art from the perspectives of visual culture, aesthetics, iconography and transculturalism.

Nomad, Royal Flaneur and Influencer:

The cultural history of a 17th century red velvet tent

Living in tented dwellings makes us think about nomads who do not have a fixed sense of belonging to a nation, but often, their cultural moorings are more of kinship, located in nature, with rich languages and performance traditions—all of which are mobile. What can the grand Mughal-style 350-year-old red velvet tent panels from Jaipur, now kept in many museums all over the world tell us about the context in which it was used and what resonance does it have for us today when we live in closed concrete spaces?


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