Photograph from the Macnabb Collection of a street scene in Lahore, taken by an unknown photographer, most likely during the 1890s.


Outside Kipling’s Wonder House

On Saturday November 11 at 2 pm, as part of our public festival Lahore on my Mind, join Director of Mumbai’s Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, historian Nadeem Omar Tarar, and curator Navina Najat Haidar for a round table discussion titled Outside Kipling’s Wonder House, or the Ajaib-Gher as the “Natives” Called it.

Lahore on my Mind is a public festival, curated by art historian Sugata Ray, that moves between the past and the present to explore the early modern, colonial, and contemporary cultural worlds of South Asia. Featuring artist interventions and discussions with thinkers, curators, and artists from the United States, Europe, and South Asia. This interdisciplinary event takes John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London as a starting point to reflect on the role of visual arts, performative practices, and literary cultures in shaping South Asia’s aesthetics, arts, and cultural politics in a globalized world.


We are pleased to extend complimentary need-based community tickets by request to all ticketed events. To learn more, please email public.programs@bgc.bard.edu


Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.


Navina Najat Haidar has been a curator in the Met’s department of Islamic art since 1999. She helped lead the planning of the Museum’s Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which have welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors since they opened in November 2011. Haidar is co-author of Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Sultans of the South: Arts of India’s Deccan Courts, 1323–1687 (both 2011). She is currently working on an exhibition about the art of India’s Deccan sultans.

Nadeem Omar Tarar is Director,National College of Arts, (NCA) Rawalpindi Campus. He was the head of department and director graduate program, Communication and Cultural Studies, at the NCA Lahore Campus. He holds a PhD in Art History and Theory, from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; an MA in Critical Theory from the University of Nottingham, UK, and an MSc. in Anthropology from the Quaid Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He did his post-doctoral fellowship at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT, USA. He has been affiliated with departments of History and South Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK as a Post-doctoral Researcher. His areas of research include the colonial and post-colonial art/education, sociology of knowledge, and the history of book in South Asia. He has co-edited and introduced the book “Official” Chronicle of the Mayo School of Arts, the Formative Years under John Lockwood Kipling, 1875-1883 (Lahore, 2002). He is an author of book chapter, Anthropology in Pakistan: the State of Discipline in State of Social Sciences in Pakistan, (Islamabad, 2005). He has also published in Economic and Political Weekly, International Journal of Art and Design Education, Journal of British South Asian Studies and Third Text. His work in progress includes research on the sociology of indigenous and colonial knowledge in Pakistan.


Mrs. Tasneem Zakaria Mehta is the Director of Mumbai’s Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum. In 2010, she was elected Vice Chairman of INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and has been the Convenor of the Mumbai Chapter and member of the Governing Council since 1996. Since 2003, Mrs. Mehta is the Managing Trustee and Honorary Director of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai City Museum, (the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum) which won the prestigious UNESCO 2005 Asia Pacific ‘Award of Excellence’ for Cultural Conservation. Mrs. Mehta is an art historian, writer, curator, designer and museum expert who has studied Fine Arts and Design at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Columbia University, New York, a master’s degree in English from the University of Delhi and a postgraduate diploma in Art History from London.



Thursday, November 9
18 West 86th Street

7 pm: Meena Alexander Poetry Reading

Meena Alexander
is an internationally acclaimed poet who was born in Allahabad, India and lives and works in New York City.


Friday, November 10
38 West 86th Street

7 pm: Openings
Shahzia Sikander, visual artist
Manan Ahmed, Assistant Professor of History, Columbia University

Saturday, November 11
18 West 86th Street

12 pm: Empire, Post-Empire, Neo-Empire
Gyan Prakash, Professor of History, Princeton University
Rina Banerjee, visual artist
Meena Alexander, poet, scholar, and writer

2 pm : Outside Kipling’s Wonder House
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, Honorary Director, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India
Nadeem Omar Tarar, Director, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
Navina Najat Haidar, Curator of Islamic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

FREE with an RSVP
4 pm: Interventions in the Gallery: Alok Vaid-Menon
Alok Vaid-Menon is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer.