PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN, 1940S-50S NANTAO STUDIO, SINGAPORE, 19.2 CM X 14 CM, PHOTOWEB COLLECTION – TAASA Review March 2018

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This article was originally found in the March 2018 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 27, Issue 1, Page 11).

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It was in the course of acquiring examples of 20th century Indian studio photography for the NGA that I was struck by the style changes in Bombay in the 1920s-30s.

Sophisticated, romantic ladies’ images were made in the 1920s but the Central Studio Bombay portrait illustrated here of an Indian woman sitting among art deco props with a hint of Hollywood up-lighting at the rear, seemed to strike a different note. This image is possibly from the early 1930s when Talkies arrived in India, joining an already flourishing silent film industry.

B.N...