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Feet and Footwear in Indian Culture

This very visual work features the religious and historical significance of feet and footwear in Indian culture as reflected in the civilization's art, sacred writings, and literature. Feet may be considered objects of worship in India, and art historian Jain-Neubauer (The Stepwells of Gujarat. o.p.) details the variety of ancient and traditional footwear that existed as a result of the diversity of climates, different ethnic and cultural traditions, and exposure to new ideas from elsewhere. For example, toe-knob sandals were worn by merchants and holy men, while elaborately embroidered footwear was favored by the wealthy. Throughout the work are dozens of well-photographed examples, made from leather, wood, felt, or vegetable fibers, embellished with embroidery and tasseling, or inlayed with precious stones. The final chapter documents the making of footwear by village craftspeople today. See Cover

Street Graphics India

Nowhere is the visual cornucopia of street graphics more striking than in India, where a continuous gallery of images reflects the country's rich cultural diversity. From the Arabian Sea to the Indian Ocean, from the northern Himalayas to its southernmost tip, the subcontinent's overwhelming profusion of art and design excites the eyes. Street furniture, architecture, transport, billboards, posters, packaging, animals, and people are all used as the media of calculated design and spontaneous expression. Ancient or modern, permanent or transient, India's street art has evolved in a myriad of styles reflecting regional variation and concerns. Barry Dawson's photographs are not only a colorful journey through India's cities, towns, and villages, but also a graphic celebration of its creative street culture, an inspirational sourcebook of vibrant ideas for students and practitioners of art and design, as well as a lively visual record for visitors. 154 color photographs. See Cover

The Royal Palaces of India

As early as the fourteenth century, stories glorifying the exotic palaces of Indian rulers began to circulate in the West, stories which closer acquaintance only confirmed. Even today, they are magical places--small towns rather than single buildings, in which the Hindu and Muslim rulers of the subcontinent dispensed their laws and enjoyed their wealth. The beauty and atmosphere of these palaces are displayed here in Antonio Martinelli's exceptional color photographs. George Michell, a recognized authority on Indian architecture and art, tells the story of the palaces. He evokes life within the complexes and describes their many elements: defenses, spacious audience halls and courtyards, temples and mosques, private apartments and service quarters. These fascinating edifices are receiving increasing numbers of visitors each year, yet there has been no in-depth survey of them since 1925. Here is a superb record of the palaces, living witnesses to a regal aspiration to recreate heaven on earth. See Cover

India Holy Song

Captured over a 15-year period, Xavier Zimbardo's India Holy Song records the exquisitely color-filled experience that pervades everyday life in India. The workaday environment of a textile-dyeing factory becomes a frenzy of whooshing fabric like a moment out of a Martha Graham performance. An expansive hillside landscape shows a mythically large tree dwarfing a man in the grassy field. Cows and dogs traverse the city streets. Each photograph captures a very different aspect of India, and each is full of tremendous energy, whether an intimate close-up of an elephant or a field of camels. Most energetic of all are the spectacular portraits of holy festivals: children painted like lions or dressed as Krishna, a crowd in the midst of being drenched in sacred colored powders. See Cover