MEMORIES OF JAIPUR

– MEMORIALS OF JEYPORE
connecting over a shared passion,
overarching era

Started in 1884, The Journal of Indian Art and Industry: Indian Jewellery was a unique journal devoted to the history of art, artistry and jewelry in India. While the journal dwelt on various aspects of Indian art and industry, the focus on jewelry was central. The journal considered Indian jewelry ‘a fascinating subject’ that attracted many students. According to the journal, ‘no work on India which relates to the resources of the Empire or to the customs and life of its people, seems to have been quite complete without a reference to the ornaments with which all races have always loved to adorn themselves’.

Key themes included fashions in dress, the use of ornaments, the ceremonials of the court, arrangement of durbars, and the manufacture and sale of ornaments. The articles also provided lists of ornaments used by both Muslim and Hindu women and men in different parts of the country. These included ornaments worn on the head, ears, nose, upper arm, fingers, and toes as well as round the neck, wrists, waist and ankles.

The journal contained excellent illustrations as well, and it is exactly these original illustrations (and publication) that Bernadette collected in the early 90’s on her travels in India.  These full page color chromo litho plates inspired us to initiate this project; pairing the wonderful and detailed illustrations with similar examples from Van Gelder Indian Jewellery – Heritage Collection.

Like Hendley wrote in his introduction in Memorials of the Jeypore Exhibition:

On August 26, 1881, an Economic and Industrial Museum was opened in Jeypore, to instruct and amuse the common people; to present to the craftsmen selected examples of the best art work of India, in the hope that they would profit thereby; to bring together specimens of local manufacturers, in order that strangers might see what could be obtained in the neighborhood; and to form a collection of raw products of the State and surrounding districts, regarding which full information should be obtained, sot that the Native Government might secure the utmost benefit from the natural resources of the country.

In short, it was decided in every possible way to educate the people in the most pleasing and interesting manner. The experiment was completely successful.

It is, moreover, a positive duty to take advantage of every such opportunity as that afforded by the Exhibition to secure, for the benefit of the public and of the Indian workman, copies of the beautiful art treasures which still exist in the country, but are being rapidly dispersed throughout the world, with the certainty that such masterpieces will never be produced again.

We feel it is our ‘positive duty’ to implement Hendley’s initial vision ‘in the most pleasing and interesting manner’!