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Open Studio Evenings by Käthe and Walter Langhammer

  • Name (text):

    Open Studio Evenings by Käthe and Walter Langhammer

    Word Count: 9

  • Name:
    Open Studio Evenings by Käthe and Walter Langhammer
  • Kind of Event:
    Salon
  • Start Date:
    1940
  • End Date:
    1957
  • Introduction:

    The painter Walter Langhammer and his wife Käthe built an informal infrastructure to promote local avant-garde artists and regularly invited them to Open Studio Evenings at their studio.

    Word Count: 29

  • Content:

    The couple Käthe Langhammer (1906–1996) and Walter Langhammer (1905–1977) belonged to socialist groups and art circles in Vienna in the late 1920s and 1930s. Käthe’s Jewish origins and their political commitment forced them to leave Austria for Bombay in 1938. Due to contacts with influential and wealthy Parsi circles, Walter Langhammer got a job in the art department of the largest English newspaper in India, The Times of India. He later became its art director and responsible for The Times of India Annual. By winning the Gold Medal of the Bombay Art Society, the highest honour, he made an impressive entry in the Bombay art world in 1939. Walter Langhammer developed his own style; bold colourful strokes of Post-Impressionism / Fauvism, which depicted panoramic landscapes in pure, bright colours, as well as introverted portraits that searched for the personality in depth. His work was characterized by refined drawing skills and a fondness for vivid, brilliant colours. However, his main source of income from the paintings were commissioned portraits of Bombay’s high society and elite Western ex-pats; mainly of their young children. His penchant for caricatures led him to draw political cartoons for The Times of India during the war. Because of his general success, he started his annual one-man shows in the Convocation Hall in 1942. After he won “The Governor of Bombay Prize” (for the best work in oil colours) for the second time in 1943 with his impressive portrait of Rudolf von Leyden The Critic (today at TIFR collection), he stopped competing in the annual exhibitions of the Bombay Art Society but became a very active member in various committees of the society until he left India in 1957.

    Inside and outside this platform, the Langhammers pursued their vision of modern art in India and their belief in the young experimental artists trying to find new forms of expression in a new country. Their enthusiasm and belief infected others like Kekoo Gandhy and other like-minded people. Walter and Käthe Langhammer, Rudolf and Albrecht von Leyden, Emanuel Schlesinger, Homi Bhabha, Mulk Raj Anand, Kekoo Gandhy and other Indians composed an informal group of supporters and admirers of young avant-garde artists, mainly the artists of the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG), as well as with other Indian and Western art aficionados. (Since the Langhammers and Rudi von Leyden were socialist, they may have focused on low-income artists like K.H. Ara or M.F. Husain and neglected artists from wealthy families like Jehangir Sabavala or Akbar Padamse.)
    Their network resembled the cosmopolitan atmosphere of post-independence Bombay. At the same time, many elements of public art-promotional infrastructure in India were lacking; such as production rooms, critical reflection and discussion, critical education, showcasing and financial remuneration. The Salon of the Bombay Art Society, founded in 1940, was a small exception and, in addition to experimental, modern exhibitions, also allowed informal meetings, official discussions and talks on these topics and the importance of art in a new, free, decolonized country.
    On the other hand, the “patrons” of the informal network surrounding these young artists were in positions and had the means to intervene in art presentation, art advertising, art criticism and art sales on behalf of their protégés. While Langhammer was some sort of artistic role model for some of them in the beginning, for example for S.H. Raza, K.H. Ara, and Sadanand Bakre, he was an art teacher for many. This, in later years, he expanded to the general public in radio shows, talks, and film screenings.
    “Every Sunday, it was open house at his studio on Nepean Sea Road” (Gandhy 2003), recalled Kekoo Gandhy. The Langhammers ran a salon at their home at Malabar Hill. Here, young artists met, dinner-parties were held, people from different classes, castes, religions and professions mingled, high-society encountered poor artists, art was discussed and analysed and, paintings were displayed and sold.
    On weekdays, Langhammer allowed young artists like Raza to use the studio space for painting; on the weekends it was an open studio in which the works of artists were discussed. Some of these works later appeared in The Times of India publications or, due to corporate networks, in advertisements for companies with a liking for modern art, such as Air India. Some of these companies began acquiring paintings and building up a collection. With the financial support from the steel magnate J.R.D. Tata, Walter Langhammer initiated an artist-in-residence programme in Jamshedpur. His social standing helped promote an open gallery in the form of the Jehangir Art Gallery.
    Käthe Langhammer, who was also called Kathy, Cathy and Kathe by her friends, was the “emotional glue” between them, the caretaker during meetings and the socialite; besides her unacknowledged role as a photographer, an art-critic, an art educator and a manager for modern art exhibitions in the Bombay Art Society Salon together with Kekoo Gandhy. Well into old age however, she was the most political and radical left-wing war refugee in Bombay. She had the highest progressive political socialisation of all of them growing up in one of the leading households in 'Red Vienna' and running an underground art salon with her father and her husband in the era of Austrofascism. This political momentum, and their belief in art as a means for political upheaval, united the Langhammers and the communist student leader Rudi von Leyden ideologically with the young artists of the PAG. However, this conviction was no hindrance to search for financial support from Bombay’s financial elite. Being privileged due to their “white race”, prestigious employment, high social status and the appreciation they received in the art circles, they were able to promote and patronize the young and experimenting penniless artists.
    Kekoo Gandhy, Langhammer’s greatest admirer, advocate and storyteller, once described Walter Langhammer as a “benevolent dictator”, “a man who got his things” (Kekoo in conversation). Walter Langhammer appears to have been a charming, enthusiastic and strong-willed personality at both business and private gatherings. “Walter has the warmth and charm of his native Vienna, and with his wife and talented help-mate, Kathe he created wherever he went an atmosphere best described by the German word gemutlich, a sense of cosiness, ease and congeniality” (Ariel 1957, 8); a colleague of The Times of India, saying goodbye to the Langhammers after 19 years in Bombay. On a personal level, Walter and Käthe could look back on Walter’s brilliant career as Art Director of The Times of India, using his skills as a commercial and advertising artist and achieving great success as a well-paid painter who won several major awards in Bombay’s art society. As a result, they became part of Bombay’s elite and high-level business and arts networks. What was historically important however, was that in the early days of India’s independence, they contributed to a cosmopolitan milieu in Bombay. This allowed new art movements to grow and prosper; especially the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG) with its hybrid methods, skills and motives and new approaches as a symbol for the new India.
    Socialized in ‘Red Vienna’, they advocated art as a political instrument and as a means of emancipated self-expression as early as the late 1920s.

    Word Count: 1194

  • Signature Image:
    Open evening at the Langhammer’s, from left: Walter Langhammer, unknown woman, Kekoo Gandhy, Wayne Hartwell (American cultural affairs diplomat) n.d. (© Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz; authorised by the late Kekoo Gandhy; All Rights Reserved).
  • Media:
    Dinner party at the Langhammer’s studio amidst his paintings (© Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz; authorised by the late Kekoo Gandhy; All Rights Reserved).
    Käthe and Walter Langhammer (far left) attending an Indian dinner, late 1930s/early 1940s (© Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz; authorised by the late Kekoo Gandhy; All Rights Reserved).
    Opening of the annual Langhammer exhibition by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir in the Convocation Hall, 27 November 1949 (from left: Mr. C.V. Oak, Rani Maharaj Singh, Walter Langhammer, Sir Cowasjee Jehangir, Käthe Langhammer) (© Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz; authorised by the late Kekoo Gandhy; All Rights Reserved).
    Photography Morning in the Great Mosque in Ajmer (translation by the author) by Käthe Langhammer, Rajasthan, 1940s (© Archive Margit Franz: Langhammer Photo Archive; All Rights Reserved).
    Käthe Langhammer in South India. They toured all of India for The Times of India Annual. Photo by Walter Langhammer (© Archive Margit Franz: Langhammer Photo Archive; All Rights Reserved).
    Invitation card for the Langhammers’ farewell party, April 1957 (© Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz; authorised by the late Kekoo Gandhy; All Rights Reserved).
    Entrance to Langhammer’s residence at 20 Nepean Sea Road (Photo: Margit Franz, 2007; All Rights Reserved).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Ariel. “Men, Matters and Memories.” The Times of India, 28 April 1957, p. 8.

    Dalmia, Yashodhara. The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives. Oxford University Press, 2001.

    Franz, Margit. “Transnationale & transkulturelle Ansätze in der Exilforschung am Beispiel der Erforschung einer kunstpolitischen Biographie von Walter Langhammer.” Mapping Contemporary History. Zeitgeschichten im Diskurs, edited by Margit Franz et al., Böhlau, 2008, pp. 243–272. Academia, www.academia.edu/45523873/Transnationale_und_transkulturelle_Ans%C3%A4tze_in_der_Exilforschung_am_Beispiel_der_Erforschung_einer_kunstpolitischen_Biographie_von_Walter_Langhammer. Accessed 14 March 2021.

    Franz, Margit. “Graz – Wien – Bombay – London: Walter Langhammer, Künstler und Kunstförderer.” Historisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Graz, vol. 40, edited by F. Bouvier, and N. Reisinger, Stadt Graz – Kulturamt, 2010, pp. 253–276. Academia, www.academia.edu/45524011/Graz_Wien_Bombay_London_Walter_Langhammer_Künstler_und_Kunstförderer. Accessed 14 March 2021.

    Franz, Margit. “Exile meets Avantgarde: ExilantInnen-Kunstnetzwerke in Bombay.” Going East – Going South. Österreichisches Exil in Asien und Afrika, edited by Margit Franz and Heimo Halbrainer, CLIO, 2014, pp. 403–431. Academia, www.academia.edu/49079321/Exile_meets_Avantgarde_ExilantInnen_Kunstnetzwerke_in_Bombay. Accessed 16 June 2021.

    Franz, Margit. Gateway India: Deutschsprachiges Exil in Indien zwischen britischer Kolonialherrschaft, Maharadschas und Gandhi (1st ed.). CLIO, 2015.

    Franz, Margit. “From Dinner Parties to Galleries: The Langhammer-Leyden-Schlesinger Circle in Bombay – 1940s through the 1950s.” Arrival Cities. Migrating Artists and New Metropolitan Topographies in the 20th Century, edited by Burcu Dogramaci et al., Leuven University Press, 2020, pp. 73–90. Project Muse, doi: 10.1353/book.77990. Accessed 30 March 2021.

    Franz, Margit. “Die multiplen Identitäten und Loyalitäten der Käthe Langhammer.” Das Exil von Frauen. Historische Perspektive und Gegenwart (biografiA. Neue Ergebnisse der Frauenbiografieforschung, 26), edited by Ilse Korotin and Ursula Stern, Praesens Verlag, 2020, pp. 148–167.

    Gandhy, Kekoo, “The Beginnings of the Art Movement.” City of Dreams, special issue of, Seminar, no. 539, August 2003, www.india-seminar.com/2003/528/528%20kekoo%20gandhy.htm. Accessed 21 February 2021.

    Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. “K.H. Ara and the TIFR Art Collection: One fragment of the story of the Institute’s Art Collection with a focus on one of the founder members of the Progressive Artists’ Group – Krishnaji Howlaji Ara.” Google Arts & Culture, artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/k-h-ara-and-the-tifr-art-collection-tata-institute-of-fundamental-research/_AJyoAcQsJnlKA?hl=en. Accessed 15 April 2021.

    Word Count: 349

  • Archives and Sources:

    Private Archive Margit Franz, Sinabelkirchen:
    Audio file: Kekoo Gandhy in conversation with Khorshed Gandhy, Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy and son of Roger van Damme. Mumbai, n.d. (kindly provided by Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy; private archive Margit Franz: digital audio material and transcript by Margit Franz);
    Archival records from personal interviews between the author and Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy, Mumbai, 30 April to 3 May 2003; 18 to 22 January 2004; 26 April to 12 May 2007; 13 to 15 October 2008; 24 October 2010;
    Archival records from a personal interview between Yashodhara Dalmia and Maseeh Rahman and Käthe Langhammer, London, August 1993 (kindly provided by Yashodhara Dalmia; private archive Margit Franz: digital audio material and transcript by Margit Franz);
    Archival records from personal interviews between the author and S.H. Raza, Paris, 3 to 4 July 2006; and Gorbio, 18 August 2010.

    Private Archive of late Khorshed & Kekoo Gandhy, Mumbai.

    Bombay Art Society exhibition catalogues from 1938 till 1960.

    Times of India Archive via Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin:
    http://erf.sbb.spk-berlin.de/historical-newspapers/. Accessed 18 April 2021.

    Walter Langhammer, The Critic, 1943, (© TIFR; Mumbai, https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/the-critic/5gFGyDDACwG86w).

    Word Count: 166

  • Author:
    Margit Franz
  • Participants (selection):

    Homi J. Bhabha, Mulk Raj Anand, K.H. Hebbar, M.F. Husain, Käthe Langhammer, Walter Langhammer, Kekoo Gandhy, Rudolf von Leyden, Albrecht von Leyden.

    Word Count: 25

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    20, Nepean Sea Road, Bombay (now 20, Nepeansea Rd, Cumballa Hill, Mumbai) (studio, 1940/41–1957).

  • Metropolis:
    Bombay
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Margit Franz. "Open Studio Evenings by Käthe and Walter Langhammer." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2951/object/5141-11941985, last modified: 14-09-2021.
  • 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
    Emanuel Schlesinger
    Factory OwnerTechnical DirectorArt CollectorArt Critic

    The art collector Schlesinger provided primarily financial aid by creating working opportunities for young artists in post-independence Bombay, and initiated the corporate culture of buying art.

    Word Count: 26

    Opening of the Raza exhibition, first row from left: Unknown, S.H. Raza, Käthe Langhammer, Rudolf von Leyden, second row from left: Walter Langhammer, K.H. Ara, Emanuel Schlesinger, 1948 (Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz, authorized by the late S.H. Raza © Raza archive; All Rights Reserved).
    Letter from Emanuel Schlesinger (Bombay) to S. H. Raza (Paris), September 1956, on official INDON letterhead paper (Reprinted from: Vajpeyi 2013, 96; Image courtesy: The Raza Foundation).Emanuel Schlesinger (far left, seated in the first row) at the opening of the Chemould Gallery at Jehangir Art Gallery Main Hall, September 1963 (Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz © Gandhy Archive, Mumbai; All Rights Reserved).Early Raza painting Street Scene in Bombay from Schlesinger Collection as a calendar print (Photo: Margit Franz 2010; All Rights Reserved).
    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
    Schimmel’s Wedding Film 1948
    Film

    The film shows Schimmel’s Jewish wedding ceremony at the prestigious Glamis Villa, followed by lunch at the Taj Mahal Hotel. Among the guests were Käthe and Walter Langhammer.

    Word Count: 30

    Photo of the newlyweds with wedding gifts, including the Langhammer painting Bombay from the Malabar Hills in the dining room of Glamis Villa, 1948 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town).
    Schimmel’s wedding film, 1948 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town; revisions, technical adaptations and simplifications by Martin Schitter; entire film on Vimeo, see link below).Joe Schimmel’s family during the wedding. From left: Kamilla Thenen (groom’s cousin), Adolf and Klara Schimmel (groom’s parents), the groom Joe Schimmel, the bride Eva Ormos and Julius Thenen, 1948 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town; photo montage from the film by Fredi Kuncio).The Marriage Certificate from the Keneseth Eliyahoo Fort Synagogue, 1948 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town).The Schimmels at the Bombay Race Course in high society Bombay, late 1940s (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town).The Schimmel couple on vacation in Bad Gastein, Austria, 1951 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town).Stallion belonging to Joe Schimmel, before 1948 (© Private Archive Joe Schimmel, Cape Town).Langhammer's painting Bombay from the Malabar Hills, n.d. (Photo: Margit Franz, 2010).
    Bombay
    Picture of Rudi von Leyden’ s Bust by Sadanand K. Bakre
    Photograph

    The picture of the previously lost and recently located sculpture by Sadanand K. Bakre reflects the relationship between the artist Bakre and the art critic Rudi von Leyden.

    Word Count: 28

    Bakre’s clay bust featured on Leyden’s greetings card, 1949 (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes. All Rights Reserved).
    Press clipping with historic photo of young Bakre working on the clay bust while Leyden sits as a model, late 1940s (Maddox, Georgina. “In Retrospect.” Indian Express, 8 November 2002, p. 8. © Indian Express. Reprinted in Singh 2013, 276; Image courtesy: Delhi Art Gallery).Press clipping from a Marathi Newspaper showing Bakre’s bust of Leyden, 1997 (Reprinted in Singh 2013, 276; Image courtesy: Delhi Art Gallery).S.K. Bakre, Head, 1950, Bronze. Exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art, 2018 (© Creative Commons, Photo: Ashok Bhatia 2018).
    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
    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
    Air India
    Airline

    Air India was one of the largest art collectors in Bombay. Indian art was used as branding for Air India in international competition right from the start.

    Word Count: 27

    Advertisement in Marg Magazine with the first Air India poster by Walter Langhammer in 1946 (Page from Marg vol. 1, no. 2, January 1947 has been reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).
    Air India poster commemorating the first international flight London–Geneva–Cairo–Bombay, by Walter Langhammer, 1948 (Air India, poster no. 3, 1973. Photo: Margit Franz 2010).The Centaur as the Air India International emblem on the roof of the (new) Air India Building at Nariman Point (© Margit Franz, 2010).First Air India Mural Triumphant Aerial Return of Ram & Sita from Sri Lanka. “The spacious lounge at Air India new premises in Bombay. The colourful mural was executed by Shiavax Chavda, the well-known artist" (Marg, vol. 1, no. 4, July 1947; reproduced with the permission of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, India).Jal Cowasji (middle) and gallery owner Kekoo Gandhy (far right) in Chemould Gallery, 1960s (Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz; © Gandhy Archive, Mumbai; All Rights Reserved).Air India poster by F.M. Husain, mid 1950s (Air India 1973, no. 28, Photo: Margit Franz 2010).
    Bombay
    Jehangir Art Gallery
    Art GalleryAuditorium HallLibrary

    Efforts to create spaces for the democratic presentation, discussion and reflection of art in Bombay after independence led to the establishment of the Jehangir Art Gallery in 1952.

    Word Count: 27

    Jehangir Art Gallery, 2018 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).
    Jehangir Art Gallery, entrance hall, 2007 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).Jehangir Art Gallery, entrance hall: Bust of the donor and founder Sir Cowasji Jehangir between his two sons. On the left Jehangir Cowasji Jehangir, who gave the gallery its name; on the right Sir Hirji Jehangir, former chairman of the Jehangir Art Gallery Trust, 2018 (Photo: Margit Franz, 2018).Portrait of Jehangir Cowasji Jehangir by Walter Langhammer (Photo: Margit Franz, 2007).Commemorative plaque (Photo: Margit Franz, 2018).Art education for the masses: Walter Langhammer presents a USIS (United States Information Service) film at Jehangir Art Gallery, Auditorium Hall, 1952 (© Digital Photo Archive Margit Franz, authorized by the late Kekoo Gandhy; © Gandhy Archive, Mumbai; All Rights Reserved).
    Bombay
    Breach Candy Club
    Club

    The Breach Candy Club, restricted to “Europeans”, was a favourite spot for the exiled financial elite with its saltwater pool shaped like the map of British India and sea view.

    Word Count: 30

    Historic aerial postcard view of Breach Candy Club with pool shaped like the map of British India, n.d. (© Private Archive Margit Franz, Sinabelkirchen).
    Friends in exile gather at the Breach Candy Club. Edith Brett (2nd left, with her back to the camera), Kamilla Thenen (3rd right), Lutz Weingarten (2nd right, with his back to the camera), Käthe Langhammer (far right), 1940s (© Private Archive Noemi Cohen-Weingarten, London).Page from a Bombay travel guide during World War II lists the various swimming facilities (© Governor of Bombay. Welcome to Bombay. V… for victory. Government House, n.d., p. 9).The Breach Candy swimming pool with a sea view, n.d. (© Private Archive Noemi Cohen-Weingarten, London).The famous saltwater pool shaped like the map of British India; Clubhouse with restaurant and garden in the background, n.d. (© Private Archive Noemi Cohen-Weingarten, London).
    Bombay
    Bombay Art Society
    Association

    One of the oldest art societies in India founded by colonial rulers, Bombay Art Society showcased art students and professional artists from all over India, including the Progressive Artists of Bombay.

    Word Count: 31

    Title page of the catalogue for the Golden Jubilee Exhibition, exh. cat. Bombay Art Society, Bombay, 1939 (© Bombay Art Society, Photo: Partha Mitter 2021).
    Francis Newton [Souza], Prosperity, Cat. no. 17, n.d. and S.H. Raza, Bori Bunder, Cat. no. 65, n.d. Detail of an inside page, exh. cat. The Bombay Art Society, 1947, 21 (© Bombay Art Society, Photo: Partha Mitter 2021).Walter Langhammer, Portrait of Mrs. Shirin Vimadalal, 1939, Detail of an inside page, exh. cat. The Bombay Art Society, 1939, Frontispiece (© Bombay Art Society, Photo: Partha Mitter 2021).Title page of the catalogue for the 57th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat. The Bombay Art Society, December 1947 (© Bombay Art Society, Photo: Partha Mitter 2021).A.J. Patel, Sabita, cat. no.727, n.d. and J.N. Unwalla, Screened, cat. no. 721, n.d. Detail of an inside page, exh. cat. The Bombay Art Society, 1939, 46 (© Bombay Art Society, Photo: Partha Mitter 2021).
    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
    The Leydens: Sculpture, Paintings, Cartoons
    Exhibition

    In 1948 Albrecht and Rudi von Leyden sold their personal works of art in order to set up an “Artists' Aid Fund”, which became an institution in the following years.

    Word Count: 29

    Folder for the Leyden exhibition in May 1948, front and back (© Private Archive Flora Veit-Wild, Berlin; All Rights Reserved).
    Folder (inside) for the Leyden exhibition in May 1948 with the titles of the exhibits (© Private Archive Flora Veit-Wild, Berlin; All Rights Reserved).The four exhibiting artists: Luise and Victor Ernst von Leyden (front), Rudolf and Albrecht von Leyden (with glasses) (back) (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).The opening was well attended: in front the Elephant, woodcarving by Victor Ernst von Leyden (far left), who is sitting under his sculpture in conversation with a gentleman, his wife Luise (with a headscarf, from behind) sitting in the same row. Käthe Langhammer moves to the far right in the photo; the group at the back in front of the oil paintings by Albrecht von Leyden (from left): Kekoo Gandhy, Walter Langhammer (from behind), Khorshed Gandhy in conversation with two unknown women (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).Rudolf von Leyden´s Denley caricatures on display and for sale (© Private Archive James von Leyden, Lewes; All Rights Reserved).The financial person behind the project: Albrecht “Lolly” von Leyden, an enthusiastic amateur painter, self-portrait from later years, n.d. (painting currently lost; Photo: Margit Franz, 2004; All Rights Reserved).Main entrance to Ador House, the exhibition venue in the salon of the Bombay Art Society, 2018 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).Ador House, exhibition venue in the Bombay Art Society Salon, 2018 (Photo: Margit Franz; All Rights Reserved).
    Bombay