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SACHI Annual Event 2018. Paper Jewels: Postcards from the Raj

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Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall

200 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA

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SACHI (Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India) and Asian Art Museum, San Francisco,

are Proud to Present

PAPER JEWELS: POSTCARDS FROM THE RAJ

An Illuminating Presentation By Distinguished Scholar and San Francisco based historian Omar Khan

A Reception follows in the Loggia at 3.30 PM.

Free with Museum Admission and Open to the Public.

Paper Jewels is the story of postcards during the Raj spanning India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Burma. Postcards were the Instagram of their time, depicting the subcontinent, its people, places and preoccupations to the world. The first color and global visual communications medium to represent India between 1892 and 1947, the talk weaves together postcard artists, photographers, and publishers that define the rich history of the postcard in the subcontinent. Postcards were to the people in 1900 what the internet was to the world in 2000. They represented the world’s first mass transfusion of images. The world went from thousand to a billion postcards in a very short span of time involving the finest artists from India, Austria, and Japan. Omar Khan’s talk will lead us to the earliest illustrated postcards of India in discussing the many technical, commercial and political factors that went into shaping this then new form of communication. The talk will introduce the first artist-signed postcards of India (made in Austria); the Ravi Varma Press and the first Indian-published postcards; and the first Raj publishers to cater to mass audiences in multiple cities. We will meet the great Indian postcard artist M.V. Dhurandhar and the people and stories of Bombay he illustrated; the London-based Raphael Tuck & Sons, the biggest global Indian postcard publisher; as well as early advertising postcards of India by Singer, Liptons, Nestle and others.

SACHI Annual Event 2018 coincides with Omar Khan’s recent book publication and an India exhibition launch of his collection at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, (August 18-October 1, 2018) to be followed by an exhibition at the Art Heritage Gallery, Delhi (opening October 18, 2018).

Omar Khan, grew up in Vienna, Austria and in Islamabad, Pakistan. He has researched early photography and ephemera of the subcontinent for thirty years, and is the author of a prior publication, From Kashmir to Kabul: The Photographs of John Burke and William Baker 1860- 1900 (Mapin, 2002). An avid historian, he acquired a large collection of the early postcards from the Indian subcontinent now published in a lavishly illustrated volume, Paper Jewels: Postcards from the Raj (Mapin 2018) A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia and Stanford Universities, Omar Khan is a software executive in San Francisco. His award winning and popular website, www.harappa.com was launched in 1995.

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Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall

200 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA

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