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Fashioning a National ArtBaroda's Royal Collection and Art Institutions (1875-1924)$
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Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466849.001.0001

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Courting Craft, Design, and Industry

Courting Craft, Design, and Industry

Machines, Crafts, and the Locations of Modernity

(p.129) 3 Courting Craft, Design, and Industry
Fashioning a National Art

Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues for the participation of Baroda’s crafts and Indian artisanal design in a self-styled indigenous economy of craft-education and craft-production and, through it, in the global capitalist order. Given Maharaja Sayajirao’s and his dewan Madhavarao’s orientation towards making the crafts globally competent, caste-based artisans and other practitioners are relocated in domains of the royal palace, technical education/polytechnics, and commercial workshops. Despite their colonial and Euro-American import of capital and technology, these sites of societal modernization absorb locally relevant crafts and artisanal skills to reappear as examples of indigenous and alternative cultural modernities. Additionally, royal commissions to European firms and participation at exhibitions increase the visibility of Indian design; the latter’s recognizable presence promotes several Baroda crafts. Consequently, the European firms’ referencing of Indian design to enhance machine-produced goods is explained as the native collector’s and craftsmen’s alternative contribution to European capital, modernity, and its aspects of taste-making.

Keywords:   interstice, craft/craftsman, artisan, design, polytechnic, industry, technical education, industrial-school pedagogy, mechanization, luxury goods, hybrid(ity)

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