Preservation / Restoration

Conservation Report on Mukul Dey Archives

— C.B. Gupta

Artist Sir George Clausen’s letter to Mukul Dey, 1925
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
Between 2000 and 2004, I had an opportunity to examine and work on the collection of Mukul Dey Archives, at “Chitralekha” in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India. Here one finds visual and textual information that throw a fresh light on early 20th century Indian art scenario.

Mukul Dey (1895-1989) was one of the leading artists of modern India, who was a pioneer graphic intaglio artist and a printmaker of repute. What struck me most was that apart from his own paintings and original prints, he had collected almost everything that come under the category of visual art, along with examples of other craft forms such as ancient terracotta, metal works, wood carvings and extremely fine antique Chinese porcelains. My work was focused mainly on the archival paper artifacts.

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