Folk and Minor Art in India

IIT Kanpur, , Prof. Dr. Shatarupa Thakurta Roy

Updated On 02 Feb, 19


  • Indian folk artistry is uniquely recognized all over the world not only for richness of aesthetics but also as indicators of age-old habitual belief.
  • They comprise of tacit knowledge that is protected by passing on through generations.
  • Having said that one must also consider the folk artists as creative individuals with adequate freedom of expression to keep the tradition alive and going.
  • In India, the mainstream academic style of art synergized with the principle of vernacular art and culture to boost Nationalistic idea as well as Modernism since pre-colonial era.
  • The course traces the journey of an array of indigenous art styles from traditional to contemporary and comments on sustainability of culture through preservation, conservation and paradigm shift.


Lecture 1: Changing Definition of Folk and Minor Art

4.1 ( 11 )

Lecture Details

Course Details


Week 1: Changing definition of Folk and Minor Art
      Timeline and Regions: General Mapping
      Traditional Roots: Elements and Principles
      Timelessness : Primitive Connection
      Evolution in Purpose: Ritualistic to Propagative
      Contemporary Practice
Week 2: Classification and Connections: Traditional Roots
      Available literary recourses
      Mythical Associations
      Idea of Nationalism in the Context of Folk art
      Idea of Modernism In the context of Folk Art
      Relevance of the Art Practice
Week 3: Contextualization and Decontextualization
      Concept of Communication for Social Purpose
      Aesthetic Perspective
      Secularity and Religious Plurality
      Ethnographic perspective on the study of Folk Art and Culture
      About the Exponents who brought the culture under the limelight
Week 4: Contextualization and Decontextualization
      School of Art in Madhubani Painting
      Art as a Feminine Preserve vs the Male painters of Madhubani
      Yamapata, Pytkar and other art practice of Jharkhand Yamapata by the Jadopatias
      Sohari Painters and their Art
      Patachitra of Bengal and Odisha
Week 5: Continuum of the Practice: Ancient Centres and Contemporary
      Case study 1 Stylistic Variety in Bengal
      Case study 2 Stylistic Variety in Odisha
      Case study 3 Stylistic Variety in Andhra Pradesh
      Exponents and their Contributions
      Hypothesis on Possible Stylistic influences
Week 6: Characteristics of Contemporary Collection
      Thematic Analysis
      Iconic Analysis
      Semiotic Analysis
      Effect of narratives: Qualitative Evaluation
      Individual Expression in Contemporary Art
Week 7: Cultural Condition: Colonial and Post colonial Ideologies
      Social Formation during Preindependence
      New Aesthetics: early Prints and Battala Prints
      Artist Block Makers and Hybrid Aesthetics of Urban Folk Art
      Kalighat Painting to Haripura Posters: A synergy
      Jamini Roy: Accommodating Vernacular Idiom in Academic Practice
Week 8: Coexistence and Collaborations with Mainstream Art
      Strategies for Future and Sustainability: Vision and Revision
      Alternative Context: place of folk art in Contemporary Lifestyle
      Ancient literary sources and canonization: Scholarly Comments
      Need of Paradigm Shift



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Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.

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Great course. Thank you very much.