South Asian Photo 101: Richard Bartholomew

South Asian Photo 101 is a set of blog post designed to explore all the basics one needs to know to have a general understanding of photography in South Asia from artist to art galleries and festivals.

One of the most prominent artists from India in the mid-20th century was Richard Bartholomew. He was a write, art critic, curator, painter, photographer and poet. Bartholomew was born in Burma on November 29, 1926. However, he left his home country as a boy because the Japanese were about to enter the country during their World War II campaign (Priyanka Chharia. (June 3, 2012). Richard Bartholomew. Better Photography. Retrieved from Delhi became his home. There he was educated and met his wife in college. They had two children including photographer Pablo Bartholomew.

In 1955, he began publishing art criticism. First for Thought and the Indian Express. Then in 1962, he became the Chief Art Critic for The Times of India. Many of these writings have been collected in the book The Art Critic.

Bartholomew died in 1985 and left behind a collection of 17,000 negatives. These include a number of portraits of well-known Indian artists including V.S. Gaitonde, M.F. Husain, Bhupen Khakhar and Nasreen Mohamedi. Furthermore, he photographed his family prolifically. (Shanay Jhaveri. (March 14, 2013). Time Regained: The Collected Writings of Richard Bartholomew, One of India’s Pre-eminent Art Critics. Retrieved from

Oddly this is about all the information I could find on the internet. Though he is more well-known for his writings he was an influential artist, passing his love for photography to his son Pablo. Richard, has another book, A Critic’s Eye which I have seen but not in several years. It contains thoughts and photographs. Per, Bartholomew did not exhibit many of his photographs during his life time. However, the photographs from A Critic’s Eye were exhibited at PhotoInk. Earlier this year Bartholomew’s photographs were included in a group exhibition at PhotoInk.

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By |2018-10-13T16:26:01-05:00January 27th, 2017|South Asian Photo 101|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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