‘KIPLING’: Exploring Asian Art and Design, from Mumbai to the Punjab by Julius Bryant
This presentation will consider the life, career and legacy of John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911). As Arts and Crafts pioneer; man of letters, artist, teacher, Kipling was also a heritage activist in the nineteenth-century struggle between art and industry. Friend of Rossetti and Swinburne, brother-in-law of Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter, he belonged at the heart of England’s Arts and Crafts movement, and worked to secure recognition for the craft skills of India.
At the South Kensington Museum (today the Victoria and Albert Museum) from 1860 to 1864, he made terracotta decoration for the new buildings. Between 1865 and 1875 he taught at the J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. After a century of British influence and imports to South Asia, craft traditions had suffered. But rather than imposing European art school training, Kipling encouraged his students to explore their own heritage and local skills. In 1875 he was appointed Principal of the new Mayo School of Art (today Pakistan’s National College of Art) and curator of its museum in Lahore.
About Julius Bryant: Julius Bryant, FSA, is Keeper of the Word & Image Department at the V&A. He is responsible for paintings, prints, drawings, designs, watercolours, photographs, The National Art Library, the Archive of Art & Design, and for liaison over the Royal Institute of British Architects’ collection of architectural drawings.
Between 1990 and 2005 he was Director of Museums and Collections and Chief Curator at English Heritage, where he specialised in the restoration, redisplay and reinterpretation of historic houses open to the public.
In 2003 he was a co-founder (and remains on the Advisory Board) of the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail, a network of museums in the UK with Sikh-related collections. He has been a Visiting Fellow and Guest Curator at Yale University’s Center for British Art. In 2011-12 he was the V&A’s lead curator for its largest loan exhibition and edited the catalogue: Art and Design for All (Bonn and Budapest).
He is co-curator for the forthcoming V&A exhibition, ‘John Lockwood Kipling’ in partnership with the Bard Graduate Center, New York, and specialises in the history of the Museum and its international influence.