Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Kolkata through Colonial Eyes


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CSMVS, Mumbai

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022 2284 4484

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New Exhibition Highlighting 'the City of Palaces'


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India), Mumbai brings to you a new exhibition – Kolkata; Through Colonial Eyes.

This exhibition depicts the flourishing city of Calcutta and its culture by some of the prominent British landscape artists from the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. The gallery showcases a thematic blend of prints illustrating Palladian architectural details by Thomas Daniell and James Baillie Fraser; city vistas by William Wood Junior and Frederick Fiebig; ritualistic representation of Churruck Poojah by James Moffat, an elegant cavalry depiction of Sir Charles D'Oyly; and a stormy monsoon portrayal by Selmar Hess. This exhibition follows Bombay to Mumbai – Door of the East with the Face to the West in the Prints and Drawings Gallery of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.

The Prints and Drawings Gallery has been created with the generous donations from Pheroza and Jamshyd Godrej, Pauline and Roy Rohatgi.

Dr. Pheroza Godrej, says:

Calcutta has been styled as the City of Palaces, and well deserves its name and recognition. Fanny Parks visited India between 1822 and 1825. She wrote a book Wanderings of a Pilgrim – In search of a Picturesque. She declared that this was the city which had wide roads, beautiful detached houses with verandas, which rose majestically from the basement to almost two stories. The homes were filled with pillars and verandas and had a lightness and beauty. The gardens served as protecting the inmates from the sun and provided the space to buffet the rains. Like major cities, the development of Calcutta took place along the banks of river Hooghly, just as the cities of London has the Thames, Paris has the Seine, and Rome the Tiber. This waterway was the sea route for not only the British but, countless other traders, the Portuguese, Dutch, French, who came to Calcutta. The river was a means of transport to homes, botanical gardens, churches, places of commercial interest and, of course, for picnics and relaxation. In this exhibition, we see Calcutta’s marine life, big and small, great sea going ships, and small sloops and boats, navigating the river. The banks of the river were dotted with public buildings, and a court house, churches, hospitals, maidans and, of course, the impressive Government House. The famous Ghat played an important role in commercial, religious and social activities. Calcutta was truly a great metropolis -- glorious and beautiful. It is a city upon which there is layer upon layer of history, which we witness to this day.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by Mr. Jawhar Sircar followed by his lecture on, ‘Euro-Indian Artists in Kolkata and Mumbai: 1770 – 1870’.

The exhibition is organised in the Prints and Drawings Gallery on the first floor of the heritage wing of CSMVS. The exhibition will be open to the public for viewing from October 14, 2017.

Chowringhee The Bishop’s Palace Road from Nature

& on stone by W. Wood Junr

Coloured Lithograph

Gift of Pauline and Roy Rohatgi



A View of the Town Hall

Drawn by James B. Fraser

1824 - 26

Coloured Aquatint

Gift of Pauline and Roy Rohatgi


New Kolkata

Notes to the Editor

About the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, CSMVS Museum, is a premier museum and cultural institution of India. It is a not-for-profit organization opened to the public in 1922 and is governed by a Board of Trustees. Designed by George Wittet, a British architect in 1909, the museum building is a Grade I Heritage Structure and is a fine example of the Indo Saracenic style of architecture. The Museum houses a 60,000-strong multicultural collection of artifacts from Asia and Europe.

For More Information:

Divya Pawathinal

Renuka Muthuswami

Phone : 022 2284 4484

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