Holly Shaffer F'20

Holly  Shaffer
Assistant Professor
History of Art and Architecture
Brown University

Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art 2020
Assistant Professor
History of Art and Architecture
Brown University
Grafted Arts: The Marathas and the British in Western India, 1760-1820

In the eighteenth century, Maratha military rulers and British East India Company officials used the arts to engage in diplomacy, wage war, compete for prestige, and generate devotion as they allied with, or fought against, each other to control western India. But rather than promoting a recognizable style of art, as other regions did, they mixed sources and traditions to speak to diverse audiences. This project conceptualizes these combinations through “graft”—a term that acknowledges the violent and creative processes of suturing arts, and losing and gaining goods, as well as the shifting dynamics among agents who assembled such materials. By tracing grafted arts from multiple vantage points—Maratha and British, artist and patron, soldier and collector—this book charts the methods of empire-building that transformed artistic production and collection in western India and from there across India and in Britain.