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SU fine arts professor guest curator for exhibition at National Portrait Gallery in London
SU fine arts professor guest curator for exhibition at National Portrait Gallery in LondonMarch 23, 2007Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
Romita Ray, assistant professor of fine arts in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, served as guest curator for the exhibition “Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850” that recently opened at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition examines select famous visitors from the far reaches of Britain’s colonial expanse during the 18th and 19th centuries. It runs through June 17.
Beginning in the 17th century, non-European visitors to England caused widespread excitement, interest and curiosity in the social circles of Britain. Their voyages to England were largely a result of Britain’s colonial expansion. Hailing from former British colonies in North America, the South Pacific, India and Africa, their reasons for traveling to England and the reception upon their arrival were as diverse as their backgrounds.
Ray served as guest curator in charge of the section of the exhibition devoted to visitors from British India. The show came to fruition after seven years of collaboration involving a team of international curators and eminent art historians. The exhibition is also accompanied by an illustrated scholarly catalogue authored by the curators, including Ray. Earlier this month, she lectured on the exhibition to SU fine arts professor David Tatham’s class on London museums, part of the SU London program.
“Overall, the exhibition appeals because of the diverse cultures it represents — especially pertinent to the global, multi-cultural environment we live in today,” says Ray. “I was invited to be the guest curator for the British India section because my research focuses on the art and architecture of the British Raj. I am currently working on a book manuscript on the art of the picturesque in British India, in which I examine exoticization of eminent Indians — coincidentally, one of the main subjects of my section of the exhibition.”
Ray has published articles and essays on imperial board games, tea and imperial identity, the Victorian gardens in India, and British women artists and travelers from the Raj.
For more information on “Between Worlds,” visit the exhibition’s interactive Web page at http://www.npg.org.uk/live/wobetweenworlds.asp.