Drawing Room, Bose House, Howrah

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American (New York City born 1958)
Drawing Room, Bose House, Howrah, 2005
21st century
Creation Place: Calcutta, Bengal, India
Chromogenic print
127 x 152.4 cm (50 x 60 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Richard and Ronay Menschel Fund for the Acquisition of Photographs
, 2008.105
Department of Photographs
"The households I photographed in India consist of unusual amalgams of architectural styles overlaid by details of family life and personal history seen in the objects that adorn the rooms. These spaces speak to the vicissitudes of economic life, to incipient globalization, to the blending of history with contemporary living, to family and tradition, and to the long and complex political relationship between India and the west. This photograph is the formal living room of the Bose family of Howrah. The house is on Ramkrishnopur Lane which is across the Hooghly River from Calcutta. It was built in 1851 by Eshaan Chandra Bose who was the founder of the oldest stevedoring company in Calcutta. EC Bose and Company still exists and the Bose family still lives there in a joint family structure. My friend Modhurima Sinha's mother was born in this house as was her mother. Modhurima was the connection through which I was able to make these pictures in Calcutta. This space is particularly meaningful because it is her family's house. In the photograph you see a woman reflected in the glass over a painting at the far end of the room. The woman is Modhurima's mother and the painted portrait is her grandfather. The walls are painted pink and all the detail is hand painted. The room is decorated in Victorian style but with apparent Indian references." Laura McPhee, February 2009.
signed: Signature label on mount