Kalighat paintings at Cleveland Museum of Art illuminate 19th century life in India
Posted July 19, 2011 in Articles
Author: Steven Litt, Plain Dealer Reporter
Every art season has a sleeper — an exhibition that sounds minor but that turns out to be absolutely terrific.
This summer’s example comes courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art. It’s a show of Kalighat paintings, a little-known genre of 19th-century Indian street art, which flourished for a half-century in Calcutta (now Kolkata) then the capital of the British Raj in the East Indian state of West Bengal. The paintings were produced originally by anonymous artists between the 1830s and 1880s and sold as souvenirs in bazaars around the Kalighat Temple, devoted to the goddess Kali, in south Kolkata.