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Striking a Pose

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Striking a Pose


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Saturday, August 19
10:00 a.m.–noon PT
Speaker: Ajay Sinha, Ph.D., Julie ’73 and Helene ’49 Herzig Professor in the Art History and Architectural Studies Department at Mount Holyoke College
Virtual Event


An unexpected discovery of black and white photographs of the Indian dancer Ram Gopal taken by the American photographer Carl Van Vechten in New York City in 1938 are the earliest visual record of a pioneer of classical Indian dance. They show the dancer in gorgeous costumes in a variety of poses, while the photographer changes the studio lighting and fabric backgrounds for full views, mid-shots and close-ups of the dancer’s body. What is the visual conversation taking place in New York across the distinct worlds of the Indian dancer and the American photographer? By taking a deep dive into the exchanges across different media and cultural worlds of the interwar years, the presentation highlights the major findings of my recent book, Photo-Attractions: An Indian dancer, an American photographer, and a German Camera.


Please reserve your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link and instructions via email once you secure your place. Space is limited.

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Sponsored by the South Asian Arts Council.


Featured at top right: Carl Van Vechten, Ram Gopal, April 21, 1938. Gelatin silver print. Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gift of John Mark Lutz, 1965.

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August 19, 2023
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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