Taking the career of John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911) as its core narrative, this research project investigates the international legacy of the arts and crafts movement in Britain, India and Pakistan. The project is a collaboration between the V&A and the Bard Graduate Center, New York with Julius Bryant (V&A) and Dr. Susan Weber (BGC).
Ceramicist and conservationist, journalist, illustrator and curator, John Lockwood Kipling appears as the fictional ‘Keeper of Images’ at the Lahore Museum in his son Rudyard’s novel Kim (1904). But he started his career at the South Kensington Museum (today the Victoria and Albert Museum) in 1860, where he belonged at the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement. After a decade teaching at the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art in Mumbai, John Lockwood Kipling spent a further ten years as Principal of the new Mayo School of Art in Lahore (today Pakistan’s National College of Arts) and curator of its museum. Throughout his life he both documented and worked to secure recognition for the heritage and craft skills of India, in part through his curation of courts of Indian crafts for a series of international exhibitions. The V&A collections contain drawings by John Lockwood Kipling depicting potters, dyers, jewellery makers and toy-makers, cloth-sellers, metal workers and wood-carvers. The exhibition and publications will be the result of the first major research project on John Lockwood Kipling in national and international archives and collections.
Intended outcomes of the project
An exhibition at both the V&A (opening December 2016) and at the Bard Graduate Center, New York, and a collection of essays, commissioned by Yale University Press.
Research Co-ordinator: Professor Sandra Kemp, John Lockwood Kipling Senior Research Fellow