Color and Pigments in South Asian Painting: A Conversation with Jinah Kim and Murad Mumtaz


Thursday, April 15, 2021, 5:30pm


Virtual via registration

Scholars of South Asian Art Murad Mumtaz and Jinah Kim discuss the material and cultural history of pigments used in South Asian painting. This free program will be presented online via Zoom.

Register for this free event here.

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About the program

This conversation will touch on the uses, symbolism, and chemical composition of pigments, while exploring what pigments can tell us about the histories of pan-Asian trading as well as artistic and cultural networks. This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition and Williams College course Tasvir Khana: Practicing Indian Drawing and Painting.

About the participants

Murad Khan Mumtaz is Assistant Professor of Art at Williams College and an artist  trained in the traditional art of North Indian painting, specifically, the miniature tradition. Murad examines historical intersections of art, literature and religious expression in South Asia. His primary research focuses on devotional portraiture with a special interest in representations of Muslim saints in early modern India. His work has been aided by fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, the CLIR-Mellon Program, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before joining Williams College, Murad was a History of Art Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He received his BFA from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, his MFA in visual art from Columbia University, and his PhD in art history from the University of Virginia.

Jinah Kim is the George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Harvard University. Her research explores a diverse range of topics, including female patronage and representation in Indian Buddhist art, materiality of text and image relationship, Indic art of the book, and appropriation and reappropriation of religious objects and sites in the post-colonial context. Her first book, Receptacle of the Sacred: Illustrated Manuscripts and the Buddhist Book Cult in South Asia (University of California Press in 2013) won an honorable mention for the Bernard Cohen Prize from the Association of Asian Studies in 2015. Her second book, Garland of Visions: Color, Tantra and a Material History of Indian Painting (UC Press, Feb 2021),  establishes the research framework for Kim’s current project “Mapping Color in History”. Funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, Mapping Color History brings together the scientific data drawn from existing and ongoing material analyses of pigments in Asian painting in a historical perspective. Kim is the faculty director of the Arts program at the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University.