Drawing Room, Bose House, Howrah
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2008.105
People
Laura McPhee, American (New York City born 1958)
Title
Drawing Room, Bose House, Howrah
Classification
Photographs
Work Type
photograph
Date
2005
Places
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Bengal, Calcutta
Culture
American
Physical Descriptions
Technique
Chromogenic print
Dimensions
127 x 152.4 cm (50 x 60 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Signature label on mount
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Edition
1/5
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Richard and Ronay Menschel Fund for the Acquisition of Photographs
Copyright
© Laura McPhee
Accession Year
2008
Object Number
2008.105
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Commentary
"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.
Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted