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Mrinalini Venkateswaran

Mrinalini Venkateswaran

Doctoral Candidate in History

Museum Consultant, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust


Biography:

After completing degrees in archaeology from the universities of Baroda and Durham, I decided to work with museums in India to develop my interest in working with and interpreting material culture. After stints with the HH Maharaja Sir Jiwajirao Scindia Museum at Gwalior, Sanskriti Museums (run by a small private foundation), and the City Palace Museum Udaipur, I joined Eka Archiving Services (a museum consultancy company based in New Delhi) where I headed a range of projects. I am now an independent consultant and represent the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, City Palace Jaipur while pursuing my PhD.

Research Interests

My doctoral research encompasses museum historiography and practice in south Asia (especially post-colonial India) and how it fits into the history of modern south Asia (especially the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent), and on which I work with Professor Joya Chatterji. I am also interested in early photography in the Indian subcontinent.

Teaching

I have taught through workshops and training modules in areas ranging from documentation, collections and heritage management, disaster management, and through mentorship roles and museum interpretation. Organisations include the National Museum Institute, Intach Haryana, ICOMOS India, and UNESCO. 

    Other Professional Activities

    Selected Exhibitions and Galleries
    • Amrapali Museum, Jaipur (co–curated with Pramod Kumar KG until 2016; opened 2018) for the Amrapali Foundation, Jaipur
    • “Painting and Photography at the Jaipur Court” (co–curated with Giles Tillotson, Pramod Kumar KG and Sonika Soni, September 2015) for the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, Jaipur
    • Maharani Manhar Kumari Museum: The Ajaibghar (co–curated with Pramod Kumar KG and S. Girikumar, May 2015) for the Jagat Dhatri Mata Trust, Dungarpur “A Passionate Eye: Textiles, Paintings and Sculptures from the Bharany Donation” (co–curated with Giles Tillotson and Pramod Kumar KG, July–September 2014) for the National Museum New Delhi, in collaboration with the Bharany Collection
    • “The Splendour of Silver” (co–curated with Deepthi Sasidharan, 2013) for the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, the City Palace Museum Udaipur
    • “Long Exposure: The Camera at Udaipur, 1857–1957” (co–curated with Pramod Kumar KG, 2009) for the Pictorial Archives of the Maharanas of Mewar / Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, the City Palace Museum Udaipur
    • “War and Peace: The Military and Diplomatic Careers of HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and HH Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur” (co–curated with Giles Tillotson and Pramod Kumar KG, February 2014), for the Jaigarh Public Charitable Trust, Jaipur
    • The General Amar Singh Kanota Library and Museum, Jaipur (co–curated with Pramod Kumar KG, Phase I 2013; Phase II ongoing)
    Selected Conferences and Workshops
    • Invited speaker at 'The Long Road to India's Independence' at the National Army Museum, London, September 2017
    • Convenor for Commonwealth Association of Museums’ Regional Workshop on “Access in Museums in South Asia”, Jaipur, March 2016
    • Invited participant for the India Europe Research Network (IEARN) workshop on the Comparative History of Museums in India and Europe, New Delhi, 2012

    Professional Activities

    • Board Member, Commonwealth Association of Museums (2011-2017)
    • Advisor, Distance Learning Programme of the Commonwealth Association of Museums (2017-2020)
    • Member, ICOMOS India

    Key Publications

    • Access in Museums in South Asia post–workshop publication of the Commonwealth Association of Museums Regional Workshop (co–edited with Catherine C. Cole and Giles Tillotson, 2016)
    •  Painting and Photography at the Jaipur Court published by Niyogi Books (co–edited with Giles Tillotson, 2016, and chapter “The View from the Tasveer Khana: Photography and the Jaipur Court”)
    • Long Exposure: The Camera at Udaipur 1857–1957 published by the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur (co–authored with Pramod Kumar KG, 2014)
    • Splendour of Silver published by the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur (co–authored with Deepthi Sasidharan, 2014)
    • Monuments of India (2009) published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd, for young readers, recommended by the Central Board of Secondary Education

    Other Publications

    • “Cameras at Court” in Cultural Capital Issue no. 660, Seminar Magazine, New Delhi, August 2014
    • “Demystifying Documentation” in Context: Journal of the Development and Research Organisation for Nature, Arts and Heritage, Vol VIII, Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2011, New Delhi.
    • Book review of Peonies and Pagodas: Embroidered Parsi textiles from the TAPI collection in Textiles Asia, May 2011, Vol 3, Issue 1
    • Contributions to Treasures of the Oriental Museum, Durham (2010)