News Fellowship

India Foundation for the Arts – Victoria Memorial Hall Creative and Scholarly Projects

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH), Kolkata invites applications for an IFA-VMH Creative Project and IFA-VMH Scholarly Project, under its Archives and Museums programme which IFA will implement. The Archives and Museums programme is part-supported by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi. The Archives and Museums programme of IFA has been initiated with a two-fold objective: to provide arts practitioners and researchers an opportunity to generate new, critical, and creative approaches for public engagement with archives and museum collections; and to energise these spaces as platforms for dialogue and discourse. IFA has placed a call for applications from curators, visual artists, historians, researchers, scholars, and other creative practitioners with a strong interest in research and working with museum collections for the two Projects. Practitioners who are Indian nationals or have been residents of India consecutively for five years or more are eligible to apply. IFA encourages applicants to think through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches and methods.

About IFA

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) is an independent, national, not-for-profit, grantmaking organisation based in Bangalore that supports practice, research and education in the arts and culture in India. Set up as a Public Charitable Trust in 1993, IFA started making grants in 1995 and has supported over 600 projects disbursing over Rs 25 crore (USD 3.5 million) across the country.

About Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH)
In 2021, the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, will celebrate its centenary. The museum was the brainchild of Lord Curzon, the then viceroy of India, and was dedicated to Queen Victoria, whose demise in 1901 concluded a significant chapter of British Imperial Rule. The sprawling 64-acre museum complex and garden was built with the help of public donations and generous contributions from Indian princes, sought by the British within weeks following the Queen’s death. Known as The Taj of the Raj the monument was immediately recognised as one of the finest examples of Indo-British art and architecture after it was completed and formally opened to the public in 1921. Situated in the heart of modern Kolkata (formerly Calcutta, the Capital of the British Empire in India), the VMH is a symbol of colonial domination in India, with its imperial splendour and imposing grandeur in white marble, with allegorical sculptures emphasising Victorian virtues/values.

About the Collection and Archives 
The VMH boasts of a collection of 28,394 artefacts and rich textual archival material that encapsulates the history of the Indian subcontinent extending over three and a half centuries, beginning from 1650 A.D. For the Creative and Scholarly Projects, the Museum will open-up the following collections and textual material for research:

  • The entire collection of 430 oil paintings by the celebrated artists Thomas and William Daniell, Johann Zoffany, Tilly Kettle, William Hodges, among others.
  • About 200 watercolours by Abanindranath Tagore, including some of his most iconic paintings.
  • Photographic representations of Calcutta from the 1870s to the 1960s, including collections of the Bourne & Shepherd and Johnston and Hoffmann Studios, Sambhu Saha, and Jayant Patel of Bombay Photos.
  • European watercolours of Samuel Davis (1760-1819) and Emily Eden (1797-1869).
  • Material that relates to the architecture, symbolism, and gardens of the Victoria Memorial Hall.
  • A large volume of correspondence that deals with the selection of the site for the building. Maps and plans of the Victoria Memorial Hall. Engineering drawings and archival photographs.
  • Records relating to fundraising and the putting together of the initial collection.

To learn more about VMH and its collection, check the link.

Only Email applications are accepted. To read more about eligibility criteria and application process please click here.

Deadline Tuesday, January 05, 2021.