Locating Cosmopolitanism, Modernity, and Nationalism
This critical summary conclusively expands the careers of modernity, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism outside of Western geographies and their conventional disciplinary leanings. Maharaja Sayajirao’s collecting practice and institutional patronage together become an interstice that connects the cultural, political, and economic aspirations of princely Baroda, colonial India, and Euro-America. Contextual readings of Baroda’s projects display a pan-Indian and global reference frame in the assemblage of ideas, materials, practitioners, aesthetic and technological inputs, many of which are drawn from incompatible domains of the East and the West, modernization, capital and tradition, colonial and national, art and craft, and the private and public realms. Over time, this interstitial zone is shaped variously by derivation, hybridization, and re-articulation of diverse inputs that simultaneously respond to local, modern, and global standards. Thus, different standards collapse across oblique domains and come together in new, compatible, and cosmopolitan relationships. Together they represent a site of cultural nationalism; a global, modern art; and a provenance of contemporary relevance.
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