Indian photo exhibit of the work of Homai Vyarawalla at the Rubin Museum of Art, NYC

If you are visiting New York City and are interested in Indian arts and culture, a trip to the Rubin Museum of Art is de rigueur and should be your first stop.  The exhibition Candid, The Lens and Life of Homai Vyarawalla was reviewed by the NYT today and should appeal to history and photography buffs equally. Check it out.




The Lens and Life of Homai Vyarawalla

July 6, 2012 – January 14, 2013

Homai Vyarawalla; Indian (1913 – 2012) ; Jawaharlal Nehru caught by the camera at Palam airport while waiting for his sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, the Indian Ambassador in Moscow, 1954; gelatin silver print; Alkazi Foundation for the Arts

Homai Vyarawalla (1913-2012) was India’s first female photojournalist. This exhibition, the first on Vyarawalla outside of India, will present her photography from the late 1930s to 1970, and narrate her extraordinary life with a biographical film and ephemera from her career.

From early in her career, Homai Vyarawalla documented key events from the generation around Independence, including the historic meeting of Gandhi and the Congress Committee on the 1947 plan for partition, and she recorded the visits to India of world leaders and dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth, Jacqueline Kennedy, Ho Chi Minh, and Zhou Enlai. She was revered in India and her recent death at age 98 generated tributes around the world. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi.

Curated by Beth Citron

Travel for this exhibition was supported by Rasika and Girish Reddy, and The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel.


Members-Only Reception

July 11, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Join us for a special event for members at the Friend level and higher on July 11! Contact Emilie Dufour at or 212-620-50000, ext. 313 for more information.

Click here to learn about the benefits of membership


Open to the Public

Candid is located in our Theater Level Gallery, below Serai in the colonnade. Admission to the Theater Level Gallery is free of charge, at all times.


check out the museum’s website:      1721

NYT  review:

Restrained Chronicler of Tumultuous Times

‘Candid,’ Photos by Homai Vyarawalla, at Rubin Museum


The Indian photographer Homai Vyarawalla, who died in January at 98, spoke many times, with undiminished regret, of two opportunities missed.

Alkazi Collection of Photography

Candid Jawaharlal Nehru in a Homai Vyarawalla photo at the Rubin Museum.

Alkazi Collection of Photography

Homai Vyarawalla captured Jacqueline Kennedy’s feeding a baby elephant while visiting India in 1962.

On Jan. 30, 1948, she left her home in New Delhi intending to film the elderly Mohandas K. Gandhi at his daily prayer meeting at Birla House in the city. Something distracted her, and she turned back. If she had continued on, she would have witnessed, and probably documented, Gandhi’s assassination.

Two weeks later she traveled with a party of international journalists to Allahabad to photograph the immersion of Gandhi’s ashes at the confluence the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers. At the last minute the boat assigned to reporters and photographers got stuck on a sandbar. The immersion went on without them. Again, she didn’t get the shot.

But if those two crucial moments in India’s modern history eluded her, many, many others did not, as is clear from “Candid: The Lens and Life of Homai Vyarawalla,” a small, evocative, event-filled retrospective of her work at the Rubin Museum of Art.

read more here…



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