Jyotindra Jain

Jyotindra Jain

~ India

Jyotindra Jain (1943, Indore, India) is a brilliant scholar and an innovater in the field of museology. Since taking over the directorship of the Crafts Museum in Delhi in 1984, he has used it as the vehicle for an extraordinary task: reviving traditional arts and handicrafts of India, including those from the tribal areas. He has instituted a programme of fellowships at the Museum, inviting to Delhi traditional artists and craftsmen from all over India and presenting their work in pioneering exhibitions, according them the same honour and attention as ‘modern’ artists generally receive. Jyotindra Jain breaks down prejudices concerning crafts and art, tradition and modernity, ‘low’ and ‘high’ culture. He criticises the Indian cultural infrastructure - a model extending far beyond his own country - which shows appreciation only for ‘modern’ academy-trained artists. Jain proposes and practices a different model, in which traditional and folk art coexists and mingles with the modern, industrial present.

- from the 1998 Prince Claus Awards Committee Report