“A journey to the past – Rendezvous with historian Shubhashree Purkayastha .”
An exhibition titled “Mysterious Mothers of the Museum” was organised at the Assam State Museum, Guwahati from August 1 to August 10, 2017. The exhibition brought out four objects from the Sculpture Collection of the Assam State Museum and attempt to re-contextualise them, through providing an alternative identification.
The exhibition was curated by Shubhashree Purkayastha, a Delhi-based art historian who, in collaboration with the India Foundation for Arts, Bangalore, brought out the unique art exhibition ‘Mysterious Mothers of the Museum’ to one of the biggest multipurpose museums of India- the Assam State Museum.
A rendezvous with the historian gave us the following insights about her as well as history and art.
Hailing from the oil town of Duliajan, Assam, she has been in Delhi for the last 10 years. She studied History at Lady Shri Ram College, and then did her masters in Art History from National Museum Insititute, Delhi. She has also recently submitted her M.Phil thesis in Visual Studies at JNU.
She was always interested in History, and the sphere of the visual had also attracted her from an early age. When she was in LSR, she attended a workshop on the history of Indian Art and Architecture, and that is when she learnt about this particular course of Art History, deciding to pursue it at the Masters level.
When asked about the decreasing footfall at museums, she says “Museums have never been a favourite place among the general masses in India. They are though of as dead boring places with nothing to contribute to, in the present. I think the reason behind such a mentality is the general structure of how museums have always functioned in this country, in a very bureaucratic manner, like some monotonous government office, with nothing to engage the audience or engage their curiosity. Of course people would prefer malls over museums! This is not to say that progress has not been made. Many museums across the country are doing an exceptional job in creating policies and programs to increase visitor footfall.”
About “Mysterious Mothers of the Museum”: