Tagore’s rare photos put on display at IGNCA to mark birth anniversary

The exhibition features themes, including ‘Santiniketan: Abode of Peace’, focusing on its outstanding universal value,
Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi.
Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi.

NEW DELHI: THE Conservation and Cultural Archives Division of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) recently hosted an exhibition and lecture commemorating the birth anniversary of poet extraordinaire Rabindranath Tagore in the national capital.

Besides Member Secretary of IGNCA Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, many esteemed speakers, including author Fabien Chartier, artist-photographer Neelkamal Adak, and art historian Basu Acharya, offered diverse perspectives on Tagore’s legacy. The exhibition, titled ‘The Rare Photographs of Rabindranath Tagore', was curated by Ganesh Narayan Singh. The head of department of Conservation and Archives Prof Achal Pandeya and Archivist at IGNCA Dr Sanjay Jha were also in attendance.

The exhibition will be on display until May 19.

Addressing the gathering at the inaugural event on Monday, Joshi highlighted Tagore’s unique character, noting his significant act of returning the Knighthood following the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, a reflection of the spirit of Indian identity.

While emphasising Tagore’s international connections, he said the exhibition will feature rare paintings and photographs from collections including those of Elizabeth Brunner, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Shambhu Saha, D R D Wadia, and Kapila Vatsyayan, alongside IGNCA’s archival treasures.

He also shared a translated Hindi rendition of Tagore’s poem ‘Pran’.

"The exhibition features themes, including ‘Santiniketan: Abode of Peace’, focusing on its outstanding universal value, ‘Tagore’s Ecological Habitation and Agricultural Pursuits’, exploring his environmental efforts, ‘Tagore and Gandhi’, delving into their relationship, and ‘Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and His French Odyssey’, highlighting his French connections,” said officials.

Chartier delved into Tagore’s reception in France, and his rise to prominence, tracing the poet’s journey and his emotional response to visiting First World War battlefields, showcasing his deep humanity. Chartier also shed light on Tagore’s European tours and how he was perceived in the West.

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