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Inside the Maharaja Talks: Indian Popular Culture

January 10th, 2011

Air India`s Maharaja mascot, first developed by designer Bobby Kooka and Umesh Rao in 1946.

The first in a series of five talks accompanying the Maharaja exhibition, “Palace on Wheels”: Marketing the Maharajas by the exhibition’s adjunct curator, Stephen Inglis, considers the forms in which India’s royal rulers have been represented in popular culture. It traces some of the close relations between Maharajas and museums, hotels, transport and tourism. This includes a look at how India has constructed a self-image drawing upon the royal courts, not only for foreign consumption but also for internal identity building.

As an anthropologist, curator and lecturer, Dr. Inglis has specialized in South Asian artists and their communities and in Canadian folk art and craft traditions.

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