Travel, Art and Collecting in South Asia questions what are ideas of vertiginous collecting, art-making and museums as expanded fields, including wonder houses and missionary museums (or museobuses) in Britain and South Asia.
If the historiography of British India has privileged photography and the 'Imperial Picturesque', the emphasis here is on the formation of a creole modernity, one that considers the relationship between art and labour, including pearlescence and pearl fishing in Sri Lanka, and the iconoclastic/fetish debates and forms of collecting amongst missionaries. Eaton explores these themes alongside the genealogies and modernities of white(ness) in contemporary curating and amateur female practice, and how the museobus or museum as a unique object has informed the work of contemporary artist group Raqs Media Collective.
This book will be of interest to scholars in art history, Asian history, and imperial and colonial history.
Table of Contents
1. Eye of the Pearl: Archaic Labour, Fisheries and Waste in South Asia 2. Idol Worn: Missionaries, Museums and the Deodand in London and South Asia 3. Pure White: Shades of Political Economy 4. 'With Respect to Residue': Raqs Media Collective and the Decolonial Museum as UFO
Natasha Eaton is Reader in the History of Art at University College London, UK.