Changing myths and images: Twentieth-century popular art in India
India is one of the oldest civilizations known to history. Its origins reach back to the third millennium B.C.E. or earlier, to the time of ancient Mesopotamia, Sumeria, and Egypt; but whereas the cultures of Mesopotamia, Sumer, and ancient Egypt are only fascinating historical memories, the civilization of India has survived down through the centuries, maintaining a remarkable and resilient cultural continuity that endures as a major presence in our modern world. This unique catalog presents for the first time the popular art of India, specifically, the chromolithographs or printed color posters or calendars (often simply called "god posters") to be found in tea stalls, tailor shops, and grocery stores of everyday life in modern India. These god posters have been passed over, largely unnoticed or dismissed with contempt by most interpreters of modern Indian culture. They not only provide a window into the rich and colorful images that adorn life "on the ground" in India and the manner in which gods and goddesses, child gods and god-men and their traditional mythical narratives come to be portrayed and transformed in the mass consumer culture of India, but also represent a major vehicle for sustaining the cultural continuity that makes India so distinct. Coauthored by Pratapaditya Pal and H. Daniel Smith.