Early photography flourished throughout India, with particular vigour in the city of Bombay. British colonizers and indigenous Indians were both active within just a few years of the medium’s invention.
Long before the invention of moving pictures, and long before Bollywood, Bombay was the first Indian city where the photographic needs of the public—including more affluent indigenous Indians as well as British—were catered to. The aim of this publication in researching under-recognized photographers of the time like Narayan Daji, Hurrichund Chintamon, Shivshanker Narayen and Shapoor N. Bhedwar is to contribute new information for a local history that is still very much in formation.
Following a roughly chronological trajectory, the volume looks at some of the earliest surviving Bombay photographs, and moves through differing eras to the end of the century, covering architectural studies and landscapes, portraits and ethnographic studies, and the documentation of trade and technological advancements that produced such spectacular pictures.
Newly excavated data will augment the scholarship readily available on this period of photography, and on some of the best-known 19th century photographers active in Bombay: Thomas Biggs, William Henry Pigou, William Johnson, Colin Murray, John Edward Saché, Edward Taurines, Samuel Bourne, and Lala Deen Dayal.
About the Author
Susan Hapgood is an art historian and curator based in New York who lived in Mumbai from 2010–2014. She was the inaugural visiting professor of curatorial studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, founding director of the Mumbai Art Room, and previously, director of exhibitions for Independent Curators International, New York. Hapgood has authored six books and numerous articles on modern and contemporary art.