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Marg. A Magazine of Architecture and Art

  • Kind of Object:
    Magazine
  • Name:

    Marg. A Magazine of Architecture and Art

    Word Count: 7

  • Alternative Names:
    MARG, Marg. A Magazine of the Arts
  • Creator (Person):
    Mulk Raj Anand
  • Year Start:
    1946
  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    25 Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Bombay (now Captain Prakash Pethe Marg, Mumbai); 3 Queens Road, Marine Lines, Bombay (now Khatau Road, Mumbai).

  • Language:
    English
  • City:
    Mumbai (IN)
  • Introduction:

    Local and exiled creatives formed the Modern Architectural Research Group to publish a progressive journal of art and architecture in Bombay from 1946 onwards.

    Word Count: 23

  • Content:

    A magazine beyond borders. Marg’s interconnectedness with exile histories
    To become a “breviary of architecture and art for all enlightened citizens in our country and abroad” (Marg ,vol. 1, no. 1, 1946, 6), was and is the overarching goal of the art and architecture magazine Marg. In 1946, on the brink of Independence, the Modern Architectural Research Group (MARG) formed in Bombay to publish a journal that would soon become an important resource for the built, visual, and performing arts in India and beyond. Involved in its creation were, amongst others, Indian author Mulk Raj Anand, Ceylonese architect Minnette De Silva as well as German architect Otto Koenigsberger and the exiled art critic Rudi von Leyden. Funded by the Tata Group, the English-language publication  took a clear humanist stance through its progressive questioning of the role of ancient and contemporary Asian art and architecture.
    On the covers on the first four issues “Marg” is written in English and Devanagari. The title not only represents the acronym of the MARG group, but also means “pathway” in Sanskrit and “way” or “road” in Hindi. This directional dynamic is reflected in the graphic design of Marg, where the reader moves through an  archway from Fatehpur Sikri that frames the contents page and a gateway from Sanchi that surrounds the editorial page. From the beginning, the anti-revivalist orientation of the magazine’s path was based on an innovative negotiation of modernity and tradition in the arts. By educating the public in their acknowledgement of the arts and their local heritage, MARG not only hoped to elevate the reputation of the architect, but also wanted to shape egalitarian visions of society through cultural themes.
    Within this creative finding process, the gaze was repeatedly cast towards Europe and North America. Architecture treatises of well-known architects like Le Corbusier, critical comments on modern design in India and exhibition reviews such as the show of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group at the Institute of Foreign Languages filled the magazine’s pages. At the same time India’s architectural and artistic heritage, which received only biased analysis under the British colonial government, was reappraised through in-depth analyses.
    This multi-layered content can be related to the international team behind Marg. Mulk Raj Anand served as editor and the Ceylonese author, activist and art historian Anil (Marcia) De Silva, was assistant editor until October 1948. Moreover, she was also responsible for the layout. The two had met in London and several sources suggest that they were lovers (Sales-Pontes 1985; De Mel 2001). What is certain is that they shared a passion for art history, an affiliation with the political left and a flat at 25 Cuffe Parade with Anil's younger sister Minnette De Silva who was part of Marg's architectural team.
    Also involved from the outset were the Indian architect Minoo Mistry as well as the J.P.J. (Jehangir) Billimoria. Another important voice within Marg was the exiled architect and town planner Otto Koenigsberger, who fled Germany in 1933 and later became the chief architect of Mysore State. His understanding of architectural modernism as a site-specific method rather than a globally universal style, which was shared by Minnette De Silva, helped shape the architectural discourse in Marg.
    While in the early days of the magazine many buildings from Europe or the US were presented by experts predominantly from these geographies, locally trained architects found little mention in Marg. In contrast the art-related articles clearly concentrated on Asian art. Two European emigrants were leading forces in this regard: the political refugee and art critic Rudi von Leyden and the art historian Hermann Goetz, who had already completed his doctorate on Indian art at the University of Munich in 1923 before coming to the subcontinent. Together with Marg’s official art advisor Karl Khandalavala, von Leyden and Goetz wrote well-founded reviews of artworks, exhibitions and books. The total of 14 − or 15, depending on the count in the different sources − founding members also included John Irwin, assistant curator of the London Victoria and Albert Museum at that time and the Bengali poet Bishnu Dey. In addition, the early issues contain articles by exiled creatives such as the filmmaker Paul Zils on “Film of our Time” (Marg, vol. 1, no. 2, 1947, 78f). However, their presence in the journal gradually decreased, presumably due to remigration and the changed political situation in India in the course of the 1950s.
    Without a doubt, the magazine’s network spanned different continents, disciplines, and contexts of origin. At the same time, it was closely linked to Bombay’s emergence as a crucible for creative encounters. The city's open cultural climate encouraged collaborative work on many levels. Homi Bhabha, whom Anand had met at Cambridge and was a close friend of Koenigsberger, was also part of the urban elite around Marg. Likewise, Kekoo Gandhy occasionally contributed to Marg and advertised his gallery Chemould Frames in its pages. After the first issues were entirely financed by the founders’ seed money, subscriptions and advertisements, the magazine was substantially supported by the influential Tata Group from 1949 onwards. In return for the new office space at 3 Queens Road provided by the Tatas, the magazine was explicitly marketed as a low-cost educational resource that was supposed to be accessible to all. Even though Marg remained a product of Bombay’s urban elite, its egalitarian visions for art and architecture in a postcolonial world remain fundamental until today.

    Word Count: 888

  • Signature Image:
    Cover of the first issue, detail (Marg, vol. 1, no. 1, 1946, reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
  • Media:
    Cover of the first issue (Marg, vol. 1, no. 1, 1946, reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    Advert MARG means Pathway (Marg, vol. 1, no. 2, 1947, p. 110; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    Editors’ page of the first Marg issue (Marg, vol. 1, no. 1, 1946, p. 1; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    Excerpt from “Architecture and You” (Marg, vol. 1, no. 1, 1946, p. 10; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    A collage of exiles’ contributions to Marg (All images reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    Editorial “Planning and Dreaming.” (Marg, vol. 1, no. 1, 1946, p. 4f).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Dalvi, Mustansir. “Mulk and Modern Indian Architecture.” Mulk Raj Anand: Shaping the Indian Modern, edited by Annapurna Garimella, Marg Publications, 2005, pp. 56–65.

    De Mel, Neloufer. Women & the Nation’s Narrative: Gender and Nationalism in Twentieth Century Sri Lanka. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

    De Silva, Minnette. The Life & Work of an Asian Woman Architect. Smart Media Productions, 1998.

    Deboo, Khorshed. “Revisiting the Past, Reimagining a Future. How an Art Magazine Found a Place in Indiaʼs Nation-Building Narratives.” Himal Southasian, 16 February 2021, www.himalmag.com/revisiting-the-past-reimagining-a-future-2021/. Accessed 20 March 2021.

    Kulke, Hermann. “Life and Work of Hermann Goetz.” India and the West. Proceedings of a Seminar Dedicated to the Memory of Hermann Goetz (South Asian Studies, 15), edited by Joachim Deppert, New Delhi, 1983, pp. 13–23.

    Lee, Rachel, and Kathleen James-Chakraborty. “Marg Magazine: A Tryst with Architectural Modernity.” ABE Journal, no. 1, May 2012. abe.revues.org, doi: 10.4000/abe.623. Accessed 20 March 2021.

    Metcalf, Thomas R. An Imperial Vision: Indian Architecture and Britain’s Raj. University of California Press, 1989.

    Sales-Pontes, Alzira Hilda. Dr. Mulk Raj Anand – A Critical Bibliography (Doctoral thesis, Loughborough University Of Technology, 1985), www.hdl.handle.net/2134/10854. Accessed 27 April 2021.

    Singh, Devika. “German-Speaking Exiles and the Writing of Indian Art History.” Journal of Art Historiography, no. 17, December 2017, pp. 1–19. DOAJ, doaj.org/article/0971436ed0004ecfa1f89d7a6d9d0628. Accessed 28 April 2021.

    Word Count: 210

  • Archives and Sources:

    Marg, vol. 1–4, Marg Publications, 1946–1953, https://marg-art.org/.

    Word Count: 7

  • Acknowledgements:

    We would like to thank Marg (Anjana Premchand, Mrinalini Vasudevan) for their support of our research.

    Word Count: 16

  • Author:
    Rachel Lee; Mareike Schwarz
  • Metropolis:
    Bombay
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Rachel Lee; Mareike Schwarz. "Marg. A Magazine of Architecture and Art." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2951/object/5140-8103274, last modified: 15-09-2021.
  • Mulk Raj Anand
    WriterPhilosopherArt PatronCultural Critic

    As a global socialist and modernist, Mulk Raj Anand sought and shaped opportunities for intellectual exchanges between Asia and Europe.

    Word Count: 20

    Mulk Raj Anand by Howard Coster, half-plate film negative, 1930s (© National Portrait Gallery, London).
    Paperback cover of Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand Preface by E.M., 34pp., Forster, Bombay: Kutub-Popular, around 1953 (© Kutub-Popular).Mulk Raj Anand in his late years at Taraporevala Mansion. 25 Cuffe Parade. Photograph: Dolly Sahiar (reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India/ Taken from Garimella 2005, 9).
    Bombay
    Kekoo Minochair Gandhy
    Frame Shop OwnerGalleristArt Collector

    Starting from a cosmopolitan milieu for young local artists, Kekoo and his wife Khorshed Gandhy developed a business model that turned the frame shop into Gallery Chemould.

    Word Count: 27

    Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy in front of their life’s work. Drawing by Kripa in The Art Gallery on Princess Street by Jerry Pinto (Reprinted from: Pinto 2019, 28).
    Kekoo Gandhy in conversation with the painter K.K. Hebbar in front of Souza’s Death of the Pope, Taj Mahal Gallery, 1961 (Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz © Gandhy Archive, Mumbai; All Rights Reserved).Kekoo Gandhy with the author (far left) visiting a local artist and his family in his Mumbai home, 2007 (© Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy in front of the oil portrait of their children Adil and Rashna by Walter Langhammer in their family house, Kekee Manzil, May 2007 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).
    Bombay
    Rudolf von Leyden
    GeologistAdvertisement SpecialistJournalistArt CriticArt CollectorCartoonist

    The advertisement expert, Rudolf von Leyden, became a major art critic and art historian in Bombay in the 1940s, advocating an urgent need for modernism in art in post-colonial India.

    Word Count: 30

    Rudolf and Nena von Leyden’s farewell party for Francis Newton. Showing all members of the Progressive Artists’ Group. Front from left: PAG = M.F. Husain, S.K. Bakre, H.A. Gade, K.H. Ara, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza with writer Mulk Raj Anand (1st right front). Back: Käthe Langhammer (with lace collar dress), Rudolf von Leyden with his wife Nena (centre), Walter Langhammer (2nd right), Ebrahim Alkazi (theatre pioneer, 1st right back), Bombay 1949. (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).
    Letterhead of The Hand. Commercial Art Studio Rudolf von Leyden, 1934 (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).Advertisement for Agfa by Rudolf von Leyden (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).Bombay Art Society Committees 1952/53, reprinted in Bombay Art Society 62th Annual Exhibition 1952–53 (at Jehangir Art Gallery), Bombay 1952, n.p. (Photo: Margit Franz 2021).Two modernists meet: Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (left) and Rudolf von Leyden (right), 1950s. (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).The article by Rudolf and Nena von Leyden “Ganjifa, the Playing Cards of India” (Marg, vol. 3, no. 4, 1949, p. 36; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).Indian President Zakir Husain (left), President of India, opened the first Triennial for contemporary art on 10 February 1968 in the Lalit Kala Gallery in New Delhi. In the picture on the left with jury member Rudolf von Leyden (right). (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).
    Bombay
    Minnette De Silva
    ArchitectJournalist

    Probably the first Sri Lankan woman architect and a founding member of Marg, Minnette De Silva mediated between tradition and modernity while defying the boundaries of gender, caste and disciplines.

    Word Count: 30

    Portrait of Minnette De Silva, around 1945 (© De Silva 1998, 112).
    44.2 Cover of Volume I of Minnette De Silva’s autobiography, 1998 (© De Silva 1998, x).Minnette De Silva within a self-designed interior in Ceylon woods, St. George’s, around 1952 (© De Silva 1998, 114).Pablo Picasso (left), Minnette De Silva, Jo Davidson and Mulk Raj Anand at the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace, 1948 (PAP, Public Domain, via Wikipedia Commons).Piries House, Alfred House Gardens, Colomba, 1952−1956 (© De Silva 1998, 182).
    Bombay
    One Man exhibition and subsequent trial, Akbar Padamsee
    Court Case

    Akbar Padamsee’s solo exhibition in Bombay in 1954 was overshadowed by his arrest on charge of displaying obscene pictures. The subsequent court case drew support from across the art world.

    Word Count: 30

    Invitation Akbar Padamsee Solo Show 29.04–4.05.1954, Jehangir Art Gallery (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).
    Solo show at Jehangir Art Gallery from 29 to 4 May 1954. (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).Akbar Padamsee, Lovers, 1952, 157.5 x 81.3 cm, oil on board (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).Akbar Padamsee, Lovers I, 1952, 136 x 110 cm, oil on board (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).Akbar Padamsee, Lovers II, 1953, 121.92 x 60.96 cm, oil on canvas. (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).Newspaper report, “Artist arrested for displaying obscene pictures”, The Times of India, 2 May, 1954 (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).Newspaper report, “Alleged Obscene Paintings Given Back to Artist”, The Indian Express, 4 May, 1954 (Courtesy of Bhanumati Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee Archive, Vinayak Aangan, Mumbai).
    Bombay
    The Feldberg Art Collection. A Series of Three Exhibitions of European Artworks collected by the Feldberg Family
    Exhibition

    In 1950 the Institute of Foreign Languages organised three exhibitions of paintings from the collection of the exiled Jewish manufacturer Siegbert Feldberg and his wife Hildegard from Stettin.

    Word Count: 27

    Michel Fingesten, Selbstbildnisse Deutscher Maler – Dr. Siegbert Feldberg Stettin, around 1933, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 56,6 x 43,5 cm, Berlin (Courtesy of Berlinische Galerie. Museum für Moderne Kunst).
    Extract from the University of Toronto’s Feldberg Collection 2002 poster; with a collage of the self-portraits from left to right by Josef Oppenheimer, 1933, Friedrich Winkler-Tannenberg, 1930, Conrad Felixmüller, 1929, Willi Jaeckel, 1929 (© Ryan Massiah; All Rights Reserved).Stylistic variance in the Feldberg Collection. Self-Portrait by Willi Jaeckel (left), 1929, Pastel on black watercolour bütten paper, 51 x 35,5 cm, Berlin. Self-Portrait by Ines Wetzel, 1930, Watercolour, gouache and pencil on drawing cardboard, 47 x 38,4 cm, Berlin (Courtesy of Berlinische Galerie. Museum für Moderne Kunst).Menkwa Building, Outram Road, site of the three exhibitions of the Feldberg Collection, 2018 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).Exhibition review (© Marg, vol. 4, no. 1, 1950, p. 59; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India; All Rights Reserved).The reunited Feldberg family in India: Siegbert Feldberg (left), Hildegard Feldberg (seated in front of her husband), Heinz Günter Feldberg (with glasses), Hans Jürgen Feldberg (standing next to his seated brother). The other four people are unknown, 1942 or 1943. (© John Feldberg; All Rights Reserved).
    Bombay
    Homi Jehangir Bhabha
    ScientistCollectorArtist

    Homi Jehangir Bhabha was a world class scientist, institution builder, an artist and art connoisseur. His vision for growth of science and art has had significant impact in post-colonial India.

    Word Count: 30

    Homi Bhabha in front of one of his paintings, Photo: Lettice Ramsey, n.d. (Courtesy of Stephen Burch, All Right Reserved).
    Homi Bhabha, working on his painting inspired by the Countess’ Aria Dovo Sono i belli moment' from Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, Photo: Lettice Ramsey, n.d. (Courtesy of Stephen Burch, All Right Reserved).
    Bombay
    Chemould
    GalleryFrame Shop

    Chemould’s history stretches from its beginnings as a manufacturer of chemical mouldings and frames in 1941 over to a hub for art circulation displaying a variety of artists in Bombay.

    Word Count: 30

    Chemould Frames shop advertising with a painting by Jamini Roy, 1946, detail (Marg, vol. 1, no. 2, January 1947, p. 104; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    Chemould Frames shop advertising with a painting by Jamini Roy, 1946. (Marg, vol. 1, no. 2, January 1947, p. 104; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).Murals of Italian POW in the St. Francis Church in Dehradun, 2005 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).Photo of the portrait of the Italian POW painters engaged in Murart, Kekee Manzil, 2003 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).Letter from Khorshed Gandhy to Carol Ross, 20 February 2009 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town; All Rights Reserved).Chemould’s successful couple: level-headed Khorshed (woman standing), networking, enthusiastic Kekoo Gandhy (man sitting, chatting), at Leydens’ exhibition, 1948 (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).A Chemould level on the back of a Chemould art frame (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town; All Rights Reserved).Opening of Chemould Gallery. Khorshed Gandhy (3. right, first row sitting), September 1963 (Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz © Gandhy Archive, Mumbai; All Rights Reserved).
    Bombay
    TIFR
    University / Higher Education Institute / Research Institute

    The TIFR is one of India’s premier scientific institutions. Inside its buildings, scientists ponder over path-breaking ideas. Also, within its hallowed walls is a fine collection of modern Indian art.

    Word Count: 31

    The TIFR building (Photo: Ananya Dasgupta, 2021).
    The TIFR premises and gardens (Photo: Ananya Dasgupta, 2021).Colonnade on the way to the TIFR entry (Photo: Ananya Dasgupta, 2021).Outside view of the TIFR foyer with the mural Bharat Bhagya Vidhata by M.F. Husain, 1963 (Photo: Ananya Dasgupta, 2021).
    Bombay
    Institute of Foreign Languages
    Language SchoolExhibition SpaceLibraryTheatre

    With its wide range of cultural activities, the Institute of Foreign Languages − founded in 1946 by the Viennese emigrant Charles Petras − became a glocal contact zone in Bombay.

    Word Count: 27

    Invitation to IFL International Club, 1949 (IFL News, vol. 1, no. 2, June–July 1949, p. 2. Archive Margit Franz © Musée Ianchelevici La Louviére, Archive).
    Former site of IFL, Jehangir Building, 1950–1959, entrance (Photo: Margit Franz, 2018).Former site of IFL, Jehangir Building, 1950–1959, street view (Photo: Margit Franz, 2018).Press images of Gade’s solo exhibition at the Institute of Foreign Languages, January 1951. Photo left: H.A. Gade (from left), Albrecht von Leyden, Margit von Leyden, unknown. Photo right: unknown woman (from left), Walter Langhammer, Khorshed Gandhy (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes).Cover of the first edition of IFL News, April-May 1949 (IFL News, vol.1, no. 1, April-May 1949, p. 1. Private Archive Margit Franz © Musée Ianchelevici Archive, La Louviére).Advertisement for the IFL Language Bureau, 1949 (IFL News, vol. 1, no. 2, June–July 1949, p. 8. Private Archive Margit Franz © Musée Ianchelevici Archive, La Louviére).
    Bombay
    Iconic Photo of the Progressive Artists’ Group and Their Associates
    Photograph

    There are two versions of the PAG photo at the opening of M.F. Husain's first solo exhibition in 1950 (published in 1996 and 2003) and two narratives about the opening.

    Word Count: 28

    The iconic photo of the Progressive Artists’ Group and their associates, 1950 (Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz © Gandhy Archive, Mumbai; All Rights Reserved). First row: (seated, from left) Dr. Mulk Raj Anand, Siloo Bharucha, Renu Khanna, K.H. Ara, M.F. Husain (in black headgear, seated in front of everyone else), Bal Chhabda, unknown, G.M. Hazarnis (holding folder). Second row: (seated, from left) unknown, unknown, Laxman Pai, Käthe Langhammer (black dress with white framed collar), Emanuel Schlesinger. Third row: (standing, from left) Dr. Percy Brown, Khorshed Gandhy, T.A. Schinzel (behind Mrs. Gandhy), Krishen Khanna (in striped tie), Sadanand Bakre (with glasses, just behind Khanna), D.G. Kulkarni (with glasses, near Bakre), V.S. Gaitonde (to Kulkarni’s left), A.A. Amelkar, Tyeb Mehta, Shiavax Chavda (with hands folded), Walter Langhammer (in dark tie), Kekoo Gandhy, Manishi Dey. Last row: (standing) all four men are unknown.
    First publication of the iconic photo of the Progressive Artists’ Group and their associates in the catalogue for the inauguration of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) Mumbai, 1996 (Photo: Yashodhara Dalmia, 2020).Another moment from the same lineup: the historic snapshot from Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy’s archive on the front-page of their book The Perfect Frame. Presenting Modern Indian Art. Stories and Photographs from the collection of Kekoo Gandhy (Zitzewitz 2003, front page).Dr. Percy Brown, Käthe Langhammer and M.F. Husain in front of Husain´s ground-breaking painting Man during the evening of the opening on 3 February 1950 (Dalmia 2001, 103; authorized by Yashodhara Dalmia).
    Bombay