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Pre-Columbian Art

Pre-Columbian Art
$12.80$16.00  [ 20% off ]
Item Code: NAG860
Author: Grace Morley
Publisher: National Museum, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 1968
Pages: 60 (16 Color and 42 B/W Illustrations )
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 9.5 inch X 7 inch
weight of the book: 185 gms



A few years ago, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India presented to the National Museum three terracottas, fine examples of pre-Columbian art, which she had received as presents from Mexico. It could never then be imagined that these terracottas would be the forerunners of a splendid collection of pre-Columbian art in the National Museum to be obtained soon as a gift from a distinguished Indian collector and connoisseur of art objects, in the United States.


The gift of a magnificent collection of pre-Colurnbian art objects presented by Mrs. Alice and Mr. Nasli Heeramaneck in memory of the late Mr. Munchersha Heeramaneck, the father of the donor, received in the National Museum in March, 1967, marks a great event for us as it is the first donation of this importance and magnitude for a museum in India, and is probably the richest collection of this material in Asia. It is impossible to express adequately the deep sense of gratitude of the National Museum to the Heeramanecks for their generosity.


The National Museum has very little art material from other countries to represent great art phases of the ancient world from outside India, except the magnificent Central Asian art specimens gathered by Sir Aurel Stein. The present collection of pre-Columbian art objects, representing the ancient culture of another continent, is indeed a very welcome addition. Lt is also an augury of acquisition in due course of other collections of art of other great countries in the not too distant future, which, as it is hoped, may be possible with the help and cooperation of UNESCO, and sister museums.


The transport of this pre-Columbian material has been possible with the cooperation and goodwill of different institutions both at home and abroad. The generosity of the J.D.R. III Fund and the utmost friendly spirit of its Director, Mr. Porter McCray, cared for the packing and insurance costs for the valuable material. It was transported at a special concessional rate by Air India. The National Museum cannot find words to thank both these institutions adequately.


Dr. Grace Morley, Adviser on Museums, Government of India, who was earlier the Director of the National Museum, and did so much to build it up, has helped, not only in the checking, studying and classifying of this pre-Columbian material, but has also personally supervised all the details of the setting up of the gallery devoted to it, and in addition has pre- pared an illustrated book in order to introduce these art objects both to layman and connoisseur. This type of material, so common in American museums, and sometimes in European ones, is totally new to our country, where a taste for its study and appreciation has to be built up. This is a great advantage as a study of any phase of art from anywhere in the world is a fascinating experience and will be welcomed in our country which has rich aesthetic traditions and technical skill. The National Museum is indeed very grateful to Dr. Morley for all that she has done for this great collection of art. The brochure in its present form would not have been possible without her intimate knowledge of this subject and related art.


But for the profound interest evinced in this magnificent collection and its acquisition by the Education Ministry, Government of India, the National Museum would not have been able to take pride in such a possession. At every step there has been the utmost kindness and help. Dr. A. M. D'Rozario, the Joint Secretary, Mr. T.S. Krishnamurti, the Deputy Secretary and Mr. A.S. Talwar, the Under Secretary, spared no pains to consult every possible source in order to arrange the transport of this delicate art material and I do not know how to express my sense of gratitude to these great friends and staunch supporters of the National Museum whose growth and development owe so much to their personal interest and care.


This book, brought out at such short notice, has been possible only because of the cooperation of Mr. T. N. Bahel, Chief Controller of Printing and Stationery, Mr. P. Gangulee Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Education, and Dr. (Miss) Kaumudi, Deputy Financial Adviser, who have all readily understood its importance and urgency. To Dr. P. Banerjee, Keeper (Publications), who carefully and speedily got this through the press, to Mr. B.S. Bist, Layout Artist, National Museum, who drew the handsome chronological chart and the map included in this publication, and to Mr. Amarnath, Manager, Caxton Press, that has worked at top speed to produce this booklet, the National Museum offers its best thanks.

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