James Fenton’s review of the catalogue accompanying Bard Graduate Center’s fall 2017 exhibition, John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London, appeared in the March 22, 2018 issue of The New York Review of Books.

Fenton opens his essay by describing the “admirable series of exhibitions and scholarly catalogs on subjects in its fields of study…” that BGC has produced since its founding in 1993, including those on Thomas Hope and Charles Percier. Citing the “revealing exhibition (with the usual outstanding catalog),” on the Georges Hoentschel collection donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by J. Pierpont Morgan in the early twentieth century (Salvaging the Past: spring 2013) and “the charming small display” that focused on the American Museum of Natural History’s 1915 mission to inspire and energize the American design industry (An American Style: fall 2013 Focus Project), Fenton situates John Lockwood Kipling—his advocacy for and promotion of the arts and crafts of India—within “the theme of the museum in relation to industry and craft. ” Read more.

“. . . It is astonishing to me how much has been retrieved by the scholars involved in this enterprise. As the Raj recedes it loses perhaps just a little of its toxicity. It has become possible to take a closer look at Rudyard Kipling, and that closer look often includes Lockwood Kipling in the frame. Then the father becomes interesting for his own sake—something the son would never, it seems, have resented. One cannot help wondering how many comparable figures are waiting for such an unexpected revival.”— James Fenton