The Art of a Corporation : The East India Company as Patron and Collector, 1600-1860 book cover
1st Edition

The Art of a Corporation
The East India Company as Patron and Collector, 1600-1860

  • Available for pre-order on April 25, 2023. Item will ship after May 16, 2023
ISBN 9781032361178
May 16, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge India
212 Pages 85 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Art of a Corporation is a comprehensive study of artworks that were commissioned and collected by the East India Company from the early 17th to the mid-19th century. These items range from oil paintings on canvas and marble statuary, to sandstone Buddhas and metal figurines of Hindu deities. The book takes a chronological approach and focuses on provenance to show that objects are valuable primary resources for understanding the East India Company’s history. The artworks illustrate how one of the longest surviving multinational corporations in the western world changed over its three-century history and provide a powerful visual account of its perpetually reinvented image.

This book is a must read for scholars and researchers of art history, colonial art, colonial studies, British history, economic history, business history, South Asian history, post-colonial studies and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



List of abbreviations


1 Chaos to Confidence

2 Landscape and Imperialism

3 Romans

4 Scandals

5 Indian Sculpture

6 Bureaucracy

7 Continuities



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Jennifer Anne Howes is a London based Art Historian who specialises in the art and architecture of India’s colonial period.


‘This is the first attempt to look at all the artworks produced by the East India Company, as a corporate entity. Through detective investigation, Howes brings the dispersed collection back together both as a narrative and as a collection, connecting also to current debates about empire, capitalism and memorials.’—Giles Tillotson

‘The complexity of the East India Company is one of the reasons British Empire is so poorly understood. Howes does vital work shining light on one particular aspect of its history – a real education for me.’—Sathnam Sanghera