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Course Co-ordinated by IIT Kanpur
Dr. Shatarupa Thakurta Roy
IIT Kanpur


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Indian folk artistry is uniquely recognized all over the world not only for richness of aesthetics but also as indicators of age-old habitual belief.
They comprise of tacit knowledge that is protected by passing on through generations.
Having said that one must also consider the folk artists as creative individuals with adequate freedom of expression to keep the tradition alive and going.
In India, the mainstream academic style of art synergized with the principle of vernacular art and culture to boost ‘Nationalistic’ idea as well as ‘Modernism’ since pre-colonial era.
The course traces the journey of an array of indigenous art styles from traditional to contemporary and comments on sustainability of culture through preservation, conservation and paradigm shift.




Changing definition of Folk and Minor Art
Timeline and Regions: General Mapping
Traditional Roots: Elements and Principles
Timelessness : Primitive Connection
Evolution in Purpose: Ritualistic to Propagative
Contemporary Practice


Classification and Connections: Traditional Roots
Available literary recourses
Mythical Associations
Idea of Nationalism in the Context of Folk art
Idea of Modernism In the context of Folk Art
Relevance of the Art Practice


Contextualization and Decontextualization
Concept of Communication for Social Purpose
Aesthetic Perspective
Secularity and Religious Plurality
Ethnographic perspective on the study of Folk Art and Culture
About the Exponents who brought the culture under the limelight


Contextualization and Decontextualization
School of Art in Madhubani Painting
Art as a Feminine Preserve vs the Male painters of Madhubani
Yamapata, Pytkar and other art practice of Jharkhand Yamapata by the Jadopatias
Sohari Painters and their Art
Patachitra of Bengal and Odisha


Continuum of the Practice: Ancient Centres and Contemporary
Case study 1 Stylistic Variety in Bengal
Case study 2 Stylistic Variety in Odisha
Case study 3 Stylistic Variety in Andhra Pradesh
Exponents and their Contributions
Hypothesis on Possible Stylistic influences


Characteristics of Contemporary Collection
Thematic Analysis
Iconic Analysis
Semiotic Analysis
Effect of narratives: Qualitative Evaluation
Individual Expression in Contemporary Art


Cultural Condition: Colonial and Post colonial Ideologies
Social Formation during Preindependence
New Aesthetics: early Prints and Battala Prints
Artist Block Makers and Hybrid Aesthetics of Urban Folk Art
Kalighat Painting to Haripura Posters: A synergy
Jamini Roy: Accommodating Vernacular Idiom in Academic Practice


Coexistence and Collaborations with Mainstream Art
Strategies for Future and Sustainability: Vision and Revision
Alternative Context: place of folk art in Contemporary Lifestyle
Ancient literary sources and canonization: Scholarly Comments
Need of Paradigm Shift

Bachelor Degree in Humanities 

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Vatsayan Kapila, The Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts, Abhinav Publications, 1997



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