One of the major of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is to serve as a comprehensive resource centre acting as a tool for research and a repository for academic reference.
With this objective in mind, the Cultural Archives of IGNCA has acquired collections of select art objects as well as audio-visual material related to the visual and performative arts of India. A significant aspect of the IGNCA Archives is its varied and rare photographic collection of works, by Sunil Janah, Shambhu Saha, D R D Wadia, Henri Cartier-Bresson and above all more than 2,500 glass-plate negatives, camera and lenses, registers of photographs as well as studio props and equipment from Raja Deen Dayal’s studio in Hyderabad.
Working amidst several accomplished European and Indian photographers in the second half of the nineteenth century, Raja Deen Dayal distinguished himself as photographer of great technical skill and aesthetic merit. Deen Dayal received patronage both of the British Govt and nobility as well as the Indian princes. Deen Dayal is also renowned for his documentation of India’s heritage sites and monuments of cultural and archaeological importance, which became the early source material for the study of Indian art and architecture.
The exhibition ‘Raja Deen Dayal: The Studio Archives from the IGNCA Collections’ showcases a cross-section of photographs of this distinguished lensman, from the Cultural Archives of IGNCA, which I hope will be of interest to specialists as well as the general public. With the inauguration of this exhibition, IGNCA also opens to the citizens a large twin gallery ideal for holding curated exhibitions of photography, one-man-shows, group shows, and retrospective shows of significant artists as well as exhibition pertaining to any momentous aspect of art and culture, especially Indian.
Alongside the new twin art galleries, IGNCA also opens a well-equipped conference room as well as a small auditorium with a seating capacity of 175 for holding lectures, film screenings, and small-scale music, dance and theatrical performances.
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