Coomaraswamy's art treasures acquired

Coomaraswamy's art treasures acquired

This acquisition gets even more significant in the backdrop of the hist orical fact that Sri Lanka-born Coomaraswamy, who died in 1947, had donated a major part of his collection to the Boston Museum of Art after his effort to donate it to an Indian institution had proved futile in those times.

IGNCA had acquired the collection, which comprises rare and original paintings of great artists like Nandalal Bose, a series of Pahari paintings, gramophone records, books and personal letters between Coomaraswamy and his close associate Sister Nivedita, from a family friend of the late historian. The large collection is right now being studied and classified under various categories by an expert team of IGNCA, and all material in it will be part of a grand exhibition IGNCA is planning in 2011 to showcase the heritage left behind by Coomaraswamy, IGNCA’s member-secretary Jyotindra Jain said here on Wednesday.

“What makes the acquisition even more significant is the fact that we had to pay an amazingly small amount of about Rs five crore since the family friend wanted to hand over the collection to India, even though if it had wanted, they could have got even up to Rs 45-50 crore if they had given it to collectors abroad,” said Jain. He said even the hundreds of personal letters in the collection can be a tremendous research source for scholars and writers.

The IGNCA has also acquired the huge collection of exquisite photographs of British India taken by pioneering 19th century photographer Raja Deen Dayal.

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