Saturday, January 2, 2010

Art Conservation in India ...Meet Madhavi and Venkat Singh ... of Dharohar Art Conservation

If you are an Art Collector ... or a Connoisseur of Art ... well! than I am pretty sure you are going to be absolutely delighted to meet Madhavi and Venkat Singh of Dharohar Art Conservation ... today in India , they are the most experienced private art conservators ... who treat every type of artifacts ... and have an experience of more than fifteen years doing restoration of art works ... their repertoire of conservation reads out some of the finest art collections ... I can go on and on ranting off about their work ...
o.k, so to continue the ranting ... ;) ... here's a piece I am absolutely in love with ....

' Lakshmi ' by M Dhurandher (1924) ... this is the picture ... while the painting was still under treatment to restore it to its original beauty ... the restored part (right) ... unrestored (left)


... a fabulous restoration done at Dharohar ...of an oil painting ...'Darbar of Maler Kotla' ( a 9' x 20' ... single canvas ) by Bourne and Shepherd - 1906 ... owned by a Five Star Hotel in Delhi ...

Meet Madhavi and Venkat Singh.She is the Managing Director and he ... the Director of Dharohar Art Conservation (P) Ltd. , and between them they are a team ... hard at work in the field of art conservation in India today.Their years of experience and skills ensures they can undertake projects ranging from oil painting, lithographs ... to old Haveli's ... involving stonework (read about it below).

With the present art scenario in India so hot and happening... where interest in buying art is seen as an Investment opportunity (just like in the West) ... having an organisation such as Dharohar is a boon.They are researching techniques to authenticate art through ... Art Conservation Assessment Studies ... in other words ... studying the ways in which that particular art piece was restored or treated ... to asses the authenticity of the art work ... this is definitely a big step in India where so far art work authentication relies heavily on inputs by art historians.After 16 yrs. of research they are today in a position to provide the scientific study for water colors.

Madhavi and Venkat are based out of Lucknow.Not just the hotspot for Connoisseurs of Art in India at one time ... but still the place that is the hub for art conservation efforts... with both governmental and NGO setups existing here.

Let me share with you some more pieces of work done by Dharohar, not to miss out the heritage oil paintings (restored at Dharohar), hanging in the background on the wall of their lab(top)... and the details of when that painting was under restoration (lower) ...

Another piece I really liked was this severally damaged oil painting ... restored to its original glory.


... and these very typical English fox hunt scene ... a paper etching ... which had water marks on it ... restored beautifully.

... this here is a Tempera painting by Jamini Roy, which was completely painted over with oil paints in an earlier attempt at restoration ... ( for those of you wondering who is Jamini Roy ... well ... he is considered one of the old India Masters ... and definitely one of the most significant and influential painters of 20th century India) ... Guess, the before and after pictures speak for themselves ... about the this restoration effort ...

...a beautiful Tankha painting ... before and after the restoration work ...

... a black and white photograph .... before and after ... (being a big b/w vintage photography buff ... I have so fallen in love with what Madhavi and Venkat did here) ...

Talking about their varied body of restoration work ... let me tell you about the Haveli 's restored by them ... the above picture is part of 16 such Haveli's (what's a Haveli ... in India and Pakistan Haveli refers to a private mansion from a bygone era ... definitely speaking of decadence and splendor) that were restored for a Mumbai based Industrialist. These Haveli's have existed for about 100-200 yrs. and over time the tropical climate ... salt and moisture from the sea winds caused erosion on the stone work ... along with growth of moss , algae and lichens ...
.... this is the before picture of the stone work .... the restoration efforts for this project needed them to clean the surfaces ... extract the salt that had gotten deposited ... consolidating (filling up ) the cracks ... and finally biocide treatment and a preservative coating to the surface , to check the weathering effects ...

... oh! dear ... look at the finished result ... Madhavi, I have to say this ... a sucker for all things heritage and an emotional junkie that I am ... I would be in tears if I had ever been there ... looking at your achievement ... :) ...
Going beyond just paintings ... etchings and architectural projects ... Dharohar also handles ceramics ... above is one such vintage ceramic plate ...

... another example of ceramic restoration ... a traditional Chinese horse ...

Madhavi and Venkat have also been instrumental in conservation of art work from the Varanasi Museum ... Jnana-Pravaha ... this here is one of the cloth paintings from that collection ...

There is so much more about ... Dharohar ... and what they do that I will need to do another post ... and you can count on that ... stay tuned ... for when I share with you their art authentication techniques ...

In the mean while you can read more about them on their web site ... http://dharohar.50webs.com/ and in case you have any questions ... just leave me a comment and Madhavi can help you out ... or you can directly mail them at ... www.dharohar@sify.com , www.dharohar@gmail.com ... I sure look forward to hearing all about your experience in discovering what you never knew about the world of restoring , our priceless treasures ... hope you enjoyed reading about it ... as I did , getting to know Madhavi and the amazing work she does ... :)

25 comments:

The Double Inverted Commas said...

Lovely post!

Sudha said...

nice to know about these wonderful art enthusiasts

Sakala said...

Wow, Rajee, good job. These are the kind of people India needs. Do they have a website?

Rajee Sood said...

Hi there @ DOuble Inverted Commmas,
Thankyou ... I'm glad you enjoyed the post ... its a great feat the couple has accompalished in doing what they do ... and as Art enthusiasts in India ... its wonderful news to us ... Hope to hear from you more often ... :)

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Sudha,
Isn't it ... I am completely enamoured by their work ... its amazing also because they put our art appreciation and heritage conservation on the path up to world parallels ... there's a long way for us to go but its nice to know we are catching up ... :)

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Sakala,
Glad you enjoyed reading about them too ... sure they do have agreat website, I've listed it at the bottom of the post ... its ... http://dharohar.50webs.com/ ... you can also connect with Madhavi through my Facebook friends list ... she's an amazing woman to know... :)

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR-
RAJEE-

I'm going to add your blog to my favorites on my blog
THE STYLE SALONISTE.
I love all things India...and adored this post about art conservation and restoration.
I was recently in Delhi (stayed at the new Aman, which is superb)...you may wish to read my posts, recent, on India, and the death of the Rajmata.
cheers, DIANE
www.thestylesaloniste.com

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Diane,
An absolute delight to hear from you ... I am so glad you enjoyed the post.I did read all your accounts of the stay in India.Lovely is what I'd say.I can't believe you have authored some of my fav. books ... as an ex-sanfranciscan ... hereing from you sure brings back many beautiful memories.
Thankyou for leaving me such a lovely comment ... and introducing me to your blog and many more lovely books.
Rajee

Veda Murthy said...

excellent post rajee! u know its one ting to paint! but restoratio of an old painting takes so much pain, effort and involves a lot of experience! bravo to the duo!

happy new year rajee!

regards,
Veda

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

simply incredible. i love seeing how beautiful items are restored...it really is a gift to be able to do what they do. wow.
xox alison

www.froufroufashionista.blogspot.com

jacob said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Claudia
http://paintingdrawing.net

jacob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ever Green Tree said...

Hi Rajee,
Its quite an informative post...I never thought old pictures could be restored to such an extent. Infact we have lot many old family snaps / paintings...which need restoration. Check out this link... its a blog I moderate... about our ancestors...which has a pict. approx 100 yrs old @ http://jamdanestate.blogspot.com/2008/01/raja-karam-singh.html
Was nice to be introduced to the works of Madhvi n Venkat :) Thx a ton.

Moreover, I will like it if you could spare a moment and visit my latest blog entry .... @ http://mye-musings.blogspot.com/2010/01/gracia-n-retro.html

Just wanted to say 'Thank You" :):)
Cheers! Radhika

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Veda,
Happy New Year to you too ....
Yep ! I agree ... and having Madhavi and Venkat in our Art scene is a milestone. I'm glad you too appreciate their work ... :)

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Mademoiselle Frou Frou ,
Glad you enjoyed reading the post ... and I truly appreciate you leaving me your comments ... hope to hear more of your feedback often ... :)

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Claudia,
THankyou for your compliments and taking the time to read my blog ... would sure love to hear more from you.

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Radhika,
Wow !now what all do I thank you about ... I love the link you send me ... have to mark a whole day to sit down and read your blog ... I am a nut case for history ...
Thankyou for the mention ... I can't believe you did that ... :)... you don't need to say thankyou ... I really do enjoy your blog ...I guess its because of the common passion we share ... :)

maneck said...

I tried my level best to get admission into a art conservation and heritage management institutes but being a commerce graduate couldnt fit the eligibility criteria... What these guys are doing is a dream for me.... I still somehow hope to get into this business of art conservation as this is what i am born to do!!

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Maneck,
I am a follower of my dreams ... that is probably the only way I can truly be happy ... and when I can't I feel I'll probably fade away and be gone.Ah! commerce is my background too and I can feel the frustration you may have felt... but just keep nurturing this love ... you'll find your dreams will drift your life towards what you really want.
And on another note ... Madhavi is on my FB network ... get in touch with her ... she is a lovely person and very approachable. Write to her ... see how it goes. I'll be soooo happy for you. Go do it.

nari said...

Dear Rajee,
wonderful information about dharohar.I myself is an art conservator and was working with INTACH(INTERNATIONL CENTRE FOR ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE).Mamta pandey.

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Mamta,
Glad you enjoyed the post. It is always wonderful to meet people in the conservation field ... I'll sure count you added to my list ... :)And I really hope we get to see and hear a lot of wonderful stories in future about your experiences .Sooo glad you dropped by... :)

Gandhi Mathi.J.M said...

Great work. I am Curator of the Chemical Conservation and Research Laboratory at Government Museum, Chennai. This Museum was the first to have a Lab, way back in 1930 itself. The 37th Course on Care of Museum objects is to be conducted here from June 1st to 30th 2011. Interested people can mail me jmgandhimathi@gmail.com
This course was started in 1974 for museologists and conservators, now open to interested art lovers.Browse www.chennaimuseum.org
Thankyou

Darshan said...

Hello,
This is Amrutha from Banglore doing masters in painting, doing a research for my dissertation "conservation and Preservation in present art practises" as an academic assesment. hence for the same I would request you to help with it giving some guidlines as I consider it a very valualbe input for this research.......

Anonymous said...

Hello,
This is Amrutha from Banglore doing masters in painting, doing a research for my dissertation "conservation and Preservation in present art practises" as an academic assesment. hence for the same I would request you to help with it giving some guidlines as I consider it a very valualbe input for this research.......

Rajee Sood said...

Hi Amrutha,
Art preservation is not my area of expertise ... but I am sure if you email Madhavi at Dharohar... their e-mail is listed at the bottom of the post ... I am sure she would help you.All the best.

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