Conversations on Culture - Jain Manuscript Paintings

Lecture by Dr Pawan Jain
Series: Conversations on Culture
Saturday, 10 February 2024
5:00 pm , KNMA Saket

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Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in collaboration with Craft Revival Trust present ‘Conversations on Culture’, a new talk series offering fresh perspectives on cultural practices and tradition. The second lecture in the series will focus on Jain Manuscript Paintings by Dr Pawan Jain, moderated by Ritu Sethi.

Jain paintings are also commonly known as the Gujarati or Western Indian School of Paintings. The Buddhist Pala paintings heavily influenced Jain manuscript paintings in terms of materials, format, and subject matter. Jainism kept alive this artistic tradition and integrated it into newer art forms. Among the areas of philanthropy identified in Jain ethical texts, the highest priority was given to the commissioning of images of jinas, the support of temples, and the funding of scribes, Jain wealthy merchants being the primary patrons. The development of manuscripts is believed to owe much to the institutions of Jain bhaṇḍāras or libraries. The devotees often had a manuscript copied for different centres and sometimes had them decorated with illustrations. Commissioning of a manuscript was a sacred task for earning religious merit. Come explore the world of Jain manuscript paintings through this lecture.

'Conversations on Culture’ is envisaged as an umbrella series of talks and discussions that take us out into India and the world by advancing new ideas, offering new perspectives, and giving access to insight, research and practice on culture and tradition. The subjects range from history, heritage, modern and contemporary developments, craft, textiles, heritage arts, innovation, creative industries to fashion and design. Our core belief in the importance of arts and culture will stay central to the Conversations. The series also locates and reiterates the museum as a place of cultural dialogue.

Established in 1999 the Craft Revival Trust (CRT) was founded on the principal that access to knowledge and its dissemination forms the vital core for safeguarding cultural heritage. CRT’s mission over the years has built a knowledge and policy framework that is a continuing investment in empowering and strengthening the cultural and creative industries, and its individuals, groups and communities of practitioners and transmitters.

Ritu Sethi is the founder-trustee of the Craft Revival Trust and the editor of Global InCH, the international journal of intangible cultural heritage. In addition she oversees the Asia InCH Encyclopaedia on the traditional arts, crafts, textiles of South Asia. Ritu’s research interests examine aspects of pre and post-colonial histories of the arts, textiles and the handmade, and their links to the modern and contemporary. She has authored and edited several publications including ‘Embroidering Futures - Repurposing the Kantha’, ‘Painters, Poets, Performers – The Patuas of Bengal’; ‘Designers Meet Artisans - A Practical Guide’ (translated into Spanish and French), among her other writings in Indian and international publications.She currently serves on several advisory boards including - IRCI UNESCO CAT II Centre, Japan. In India she serves on the Advisory Board of the ICH committee, Ministry of Culture; National Crafts Museum and Hast Kala Academy, Government of India; Asia Society (South Asia) besides other institutions/committees

Dr. Pawan Jain is an art historian, textile designer and entrepreneur. She specializes in Jain Art and Architecture. She has taught at the National Museum, National Museum Institute (NMI), B L Institute of Indology, NIFT etc., courses such as Hindu Temple Architecture, Comparative Aesthetics, Jain Art, World Cultures etc. She has authored two books “Kaivalyam: Jain Manuscript Paintings in the National Museum” and “Chitram Vastram: A Journey of Textiles and Sartorial Styles through Jain Manuscript Paintings” both published by the National Museum. She has published several art history papers in various journals and bulletins. She is the co-founder of two successful textile and handloom ventures. Dr. Jain has been the Governing Body member of FICCI FLO for four terms, a premium Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She has travelled the world for work, research and pleasure.



New Delhi

145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket
New Delhi, Delhi 110017
011-4916 0000

10:30 A.M - 6:30 P.M

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Plot No. 3 A, Sector 126,

10:30 A.M - 6:30 P.M

The museum is closed on Monday and all public holidays.