The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

Installing Rugs on the Wall – The Met

Fascinating 2 minute film! *** Sep 2019

September 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Jewelry – Style of Ancient Gods

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has a fabulous collection of ancient Buddhist & Hindu Temple statues. As I saw the various stone masterpieces, I could not help noticing … Continue reading

August 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

Desert Art – Motifs of the Bishnoi People

How can one not love this art? In my few trips to Rajasthan I’ve not had the good fortune of seeing these in-situ .. being worn by the Bishnoi women. … Continue reading

August 26, 2019 · 1 Comment

“Name Your Price” Sale Announcement

  Love to surround yourself with beautiful things? Then come have a look at the WOVENSOULS collection of old traditional jewelry & textiles filled with soul & character. Over 700 … Continue reading

August 23, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Bird Watcher’s Delight

I’d heard of Bird Rugs ….usually associated with Afshar group of South Persia. Something like this:   But now I’m seeing a Bird Shawl! This Cantonese work of art has … Continue reading

August 21, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Camel Caravan is Ready to Move

The caravan is rising again.  Awakening from its slumber – getting together its material resources and reigning in all the spiritual energies. Another journey ahead. What preparations remain before we … Continue reading

June 6, 2019 · Leave a comment

Games of Chance – Ganjifa

A note on the beauty of antique Mysore Ganjifa Cards

May 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Note on Phulkari Classification

A compilation of my jottings on Phulkaris Textiles of Punjab

April 30, 2019 · 4 Comments

Rare Swat Wedding Shawl with ‘Self’ Embroidery

Just when I’d thought I’d seen the complete range of the niche textile art from Swat Valley, along comes a piece that challenges that belief and nudges me out of my smug stupor.  – Exploring a Rare Swat Valley Artwork

December 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Why are We Buying Art

The reasons one buys art are many. The few that I could think of right away, sitting here in my armchair are presented below in ascending order of engagement levels: … Continue reading

September 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Waiting…. The Antique Shekarlu Qashqai Rug

For years I’ve eyed Shekarlu rugs. Their identity is highly evolved and very striking! Very rustic in character the rugs are filled with an extravagant number of minor motif elements … Continue reading

September 17, 2018 · 3 Comments

External Article – Ramayan of Rani Laxmi of Jhansi

  An article about  art, culture and history! The monumental work sold for just over GBP200000! https://www.christies.com/features/5-mins-with-Ramayana-9234-1.aspx The sum probably does not reflect the historical value!     jm  

August 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Made in 3 Places – Batik Tiga Negeri

In the world of modern mass production – the only world young people in their twenties (in my world) know – the concept of getting clothes made does not exist. … Continue reading

July 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Along came a Ganjifa Set…

And took my sleep away! Why are these little artworks so attractive? Or elusive? A complete set consisting of 120 cards is very very rare! The odd card is seen … Continue reading

June 25, 2018 · 1 Comment

The Rare Art of Double Sided Shia Embroidery

It is said that this art is no longer practiced. I am told they come from the Swat valley neighborhood and since there are not enough such textiles these are … Continue reading

June 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day 

Amazing Ethnic Art worn by a very small minority group in Guizhou China.  Asset 228 on WOVENSOULS.COM Enjoy the Visual Feast!  

June 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wearing Art – Antique Himalayan Ceremonial Silver Belt

When everything the eye sees is artistic and pleasing, where art is an intrinsic part of every object, there must be undercurrents of joy constantly hitting the people…  Maybe THAT … Continue reading

May 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

A New Mystery -Ancient Terracotta Blocks 

Seen in one of the important trading hubs of the old Silk Route – and retrieved with difficulty from the back of  a dealer’s dusty shelf, lying in a plastic … Continue reading

May 23, 2018 · 1 Comment

Museums or Online?

I was writing a little description for one of my beloved pieces – doting on various aspects, discovering new elements that I had not noticed before and in general giving … Continue reading

May 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Phyang Monastery

Sat still within the ancient halls with only a young monk in attendance. Time passed unmarked by minutes and seconds. What do these matter when the walls have seen centuries!  … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Art from the Past: 17th  Century Tibetan Paintings

Deities and Deomons with Tantric phurbas and dorjeys!  Under study

May 6, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ganjifa Playing Cards – Art of Sawantwadi

I remember spending all my summers playing various games all day long! We were about 12-15 boys and girls of various ages living in a neighbourhood of 5 buildings and … Continue reading

May 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day: Mirrors of Identity

A pair of Chaakla Decorative Textiles from Gujarat with rare golden mirrors Asset 152 on WOVENSOULS.COM  

April 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Weaver’s Heirloom Patan Patola Sari

Rediscovering a piece from the weaver’s heirlooms – a bridal sari with fabulous double ikat hand woven raw silk!

April 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sentinels & Thresholds 

The threshold is a very important line in a traditional Indian home.  It is washed and decorated beautifully every day with auspicious symbols  drawn in powder by the woman of … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 4 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Antique Kalamkari Art

A fabulous 17th C Kalamkari Artwork!

February 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ivory Art for Royal Courts

All carvings are from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London   Feb 2018 jaina mishra | wovensouls  

February 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

An Indian Painted Narrative Scroll

Supposedly this is an old Bengal painted narrative scroll called Patta. Does this have the same rustic character as that of other Bengal Pattuas? Doesn’t the finesse of each element … Continue reading

February 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ramayan in the Chamba Valley

Amazing 18th century Chamba Rumaal with scenes from the Ramayan https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/72821 Sita’s Fire Test   Killing Ravan – A rare depiction with the severed heads and arms Am completed WOWed  … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Jehangir Spinel

Owned and bequeathed by Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb this amazing Spinel is now in the  Victoria & Albert museum in London. Surprisingly it has been described by the V&A … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Tipu Sultan’s Tiger

What an interesting artwork commissioned by Tipu Sultan!  Seen at the V&A museum, London

February 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Saris as Textile Art!

Seen at the Victoria & Albert museum jaina mishra Feb 2018

February 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – from Gujarat again!

Late 14th–early 15th century printed textile – Gujarat! Met Museum https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/72747 Celebrate Gujarat!! Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more exquisite antique textiles and more on

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Silken flowers from Gujarat India 

One more fabulous piece from Gujarat! At first I thought it was a print … until I read the explanatory note! ❤️ This textile is from the V & A … Continue reading

February 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – An Antique Robe with Amli Embroidery

Works such as these remind us of the value added simply by the skill of an artist! The wool and the silk and the scissors could have made a robe … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

A Tent Hanging from India

The series on the V & A textiles continues with the printed tent hanging! Makes me think that I should pay some more attention to prints …   From the … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Irony of my tiny Astrological Thangka Collection

It is ironical and even absurd that my journey in collecting Tibetan material began from being impressed by their ideology of renunciation of material wealth! The life seen in Tibet … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

Crowning Glory of a Turban with Double Sided Embroidery

The absolutely mind-boggling craft of double sided embroidery on a turban! Maybe this will be one step forward in eradicating the gender bias… in a century or so maybe all … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 2 Comments

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing  antique zari  saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi, This shalu – a zari … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

Connecting the Dots of Gold

In the past, gold jewelry with motifs created by arranging tiny granules of  gold was popular in some parts of India. Ancient Greeks used the granulation process too but the … Continue reading

December 18, 2017 · 2 Comments

Museum of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings

In Trivandrum in the old city area one of the buildings in the museum complex houses several paintings by Raja Ravi Varma. Photography is not allowed inside so for my … Continue reading

December 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

Walking the Dog

And the bird in the cage. Scene in a double sided embroidery from the early 1900s.  But could well have been a snapshot from modern day Singapore!  More photos of … Continue reading

November 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Art of War – Motifs in an Embroidery

Surely Sun Zhu meant THIS arr?  More photos coming soon on WOVENSOULS.com

November 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

What lies within? Copper Manuscript

Found in Odisha, it is said to be a Buddhist Mahayana mansucript in Pali script hand-handhammered into copper plates. Imagine the trouble that went into creating this …. Similar examples … Continue reading

October 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Custodians of Antique Art

“We are only the ‘temporary’ custodians of these antique artworks that lived before us and will live on much after we are gone.” A nice quote to remind myself of … Continue reading

September 27, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix -Sindh Dowry Embroidery

Bless the woman who made this!! A great way to start my day …. with a dose of beauty – gives the heart a small positive kickstart!  Sept 2017

September 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Online Exhibition – Tampan Ship Cloths from Sumatra

Introduction The magnetic appeal of Textile Arts, to me, is directly proportional to – the art – the craft – the symbolism – the cultural story and – the usage … Continue reading

July 22, 2017 · 1 Comment

You don’t have to be a Museum…

…to hold & behold art from the past! Seen in a casual corner in the lobby of Regency Hotel, Singapore.    

July 9, 2017 · Leave a comment

A New Museum to explore

One more window to the history of art & culture. One more state museums – and from my experience, state museums in India are absolutely fantastic!! They go into the … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Antique Burma Manuscript

Exploring an antique Buddhist manuscript from Burma, dated 1874

May 24, 2017 · 1 Comment

ANNOUNCEMENT: Auction of Antique Phulkaris

Auction of rare exquisite Antique Phulkari Bagh Shawls collected from India in the 1960s-1970s and now in the wovensouls collection. Follow the link to view these pieces: http://stores.ebay.com/WOVENSOULS Ends on … Continue reading

May 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

Textiles and more in the Kerta Gosa Museum – Bali

On my visit to the small museum in Kerta Gosa, Bali (2015) I did not expect to find any textiles. paintings yes – because that area is famous for paintings. … Continue reading

April 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Tragedy of Uprooted Art

There are all forms of art in the world. Some portable and transferable and others that were meant to remain where they were created. At a recent visit to a … Continue reading

July 29, 2016 · 1 Comment

Technology or Art? 

      16th / 17th century (perhaps Nuremberg) Strongbox with amazing locking mechanism!  At the Met Museum, New York Jm June 2016

June 10, 2016 · 1 Comment

News from the National Museum Delhi

25 Feb to 25 April 2016 About the Exhibition As richly patterned silks embellished with gold and silver threads, Banarasi Brocade Saris represent the acme of the subcontinent’s hand – … Continue reading

March 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

A New Museum with a Fabulous Fresh Focus!

A museum or rather an institution that focuses on perpetuating the art amongst the creators … a museum in which the creators can see and learn from the work of … Continue reading

January 25, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Precious Package for a Precious Bundle – Dayak Baby Carrier

One more precious carrier for a precious baby! Over a dozen types of trade beads, some extremely fine, some multicolored, some from one of the 3 groups of mutisalah beads, … Continue reading

January 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Exhibition: Buddhist Art of India

New exhibition – ‘Buddhist Art of India’ in collaboration with Indian Museum, Kolkata. 30th Oct 2015 – 30th Nov 2015 National Museum, New Delhi

October 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

Learning Resource – Jain Art

A good starting point on Jain Art http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/j/jainism/ jm June 2015 Learning Resource – Jain Art

June 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Sea Shell Museum – Viewing the world through the Awe of Another!

Picking up shells along the beach is something we all do. Every shell is unique and they fascinate all of us at least for a few moments. And then we … Continue reading

February 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

My first lesson in Fine Art

Having never ventured into the world of fine art – modern or classic, I was tentative about the subject. What if I did not understand anything, what if I did … Continue reading

January 10, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Patan Patola Heritage Museum

Private Patan Patola Museum opened in Gujarat. Sept 2014.

November 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

A visit to the ‘Florentine Renaissance Exhibit’ at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

Life is short.  With time running out and only a few years left to live (definitely less than 30) I find myself making a stronger effort to make time for … Continue reading

April 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

Royal Cradles of Rajasthan

As I walk through the Mehrangarh Fort Museum hall exhibiting royal cradles, I cannot help but think about babies & nurturing & child-raising, about the tenets of parenting and the … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

Rajasthan Diaries

The caravan stops again.  At Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and the surrounding desert villages! Sand dunes, an abandoned village, mesmerising architecture, a surprising desert-turned-fertile landscape, warm people, and finally an unforgettable meeting … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 20 Comments

Umaid Bhavan Palace Museum – The Glass Collection

“By the turn of the 19th century, the Indian Maharajahs were fascinated by the luxuries of the West. Among their favorite luxury items was the glassware. During their travels in Europe, … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · 2 Comments

Umaid Bhavan Museum – The Clock Collection

I have heard of strange collections – a collection of railway engines and a  collection hangman’s nooses! But most collectors however focus on simpler objects – like coins and clocks. … Continue reading

March 25, 2014 · 2 Comments

Umaid Bhavan Palace Museum – Jodhpur

  When performance does not match expectation it results in disappointment. Years I had heard about this palace & museum and wanted to see it since then. We were all … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 3 Comments

Salar Jung Museum – Indian Miniature Painting Collection

The best places to train the eye in any category of art or antiques, are museums and reputed dealers. In a single location a diverse set is viewable. In most … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Ivory Collection

The pictures say it all!! The museum boasts of a collection of unimaginable ivory items such as a coach, coffee tables & chairs, and window panes! Other functional items such … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Walking Stick Collection

Salar Jung-III must have been an interesting man. For, a collection as diverse and as interesting as this, requires before all else, the keen eye of the beholder to see … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 8 Comments

The day I almost missed a Flight – Textiles of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

In the late 80s I had heard about the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and the things I heard evoked a desire to visit. Life came in the way between … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 4 Comments

Want to see Indian Art? Go to London!

My desire to travel and explore cultures and cultural stories all ultimately lead me to India and South Asia. The wealth and diversity of cultures and living traditions is matchless. … Continue reading

December 27, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Calico Museum – an unforgettable experience

Recently I came upon this book. And it reminded me of my visit to the Calico musuem. Set in Ahmedabad, this is one of the most venerated museums in Indian … Continue reading

December 24, 2013 · 5 Comments

Death by Beauty

Years ago Somerset Maugham wrote of this in his short stories. Of  an Englishman who had loved the beauty of Denpasar so much that he settled down there. On a … Continue reading

August 7, 2013 · 2 Comments

Pearls in Tibet’s past – The elaborate Headdresses of Tibetan Noblewomen

My first exposure to Tibet was in 2007 when I took my second solo trip. The trip through Tibet’s rural hinterland to the Everest base camp, through Xigatse and Gyantse … Continue reading

August 1, 2013 · 5 Comments

The Magnificent Stone Artefacts of the Odisha State Museum

Orissa has been the seat of rich ancient civilizations and some of the archaeological finds have been displayed at the State Museum, Bhubaneshwar. Museums in the cities of India are … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Tampan – the bewitching extinct weaving of Lampung

 Weaving ceased in Lampung at the end of the 19th century. Ceased. Extinct. Forever. This fact would be tragic even if we were speaking of some other geography. But once … Continue reading

February 10, 2013 · 3 Comments

Mini Photo Exhibit at the Singapore Art Museum Satellite Unit Opening at Taman Jurong

In pictures 5 photograph prints were selected for display at the opening of the Singapore Art Museum at Taman Jurong CC. The objective of having satellite units is to bring … Continue reading

January 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

Wovensouls makes its first sale to a Museum!

Time for celebration! Wovensouls has just made its first sale to a museum. That the buyer is a renowned museum with one of the best cultural collections in the world … Continue reading

January 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls Website relaunched

The structure and layout of the wovensouls website has been changed to make the flow smoother. Recent acquisitions of  antique textiles, antique jewelry and antique folk art, some of these … Continue reading

January 12, 2013

Pictures of the photography exhibition at Coomaraswamy Hall, Mumbai

The second in a series of three exhibitions, my limited edition photograph print series titled ‘Journeys of the Soul” was exhibited as part of a group show Mumbai Art by … Continue reading

January 7, 2013 · 3 Comments

Invitation to Photography Exhibition at Coomaraswamy Hall, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, Jan 4th-6th

Housed in the renamed Prince of Wales Museum – the Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya, the Coomaraswamy Hall will be the venue for my first photography exhibition in Mumbai. Exhibited as … Continue reading

December 18, 2012 · 1 Comment

Textile Art of South East Asia at the Asian Civilsations Museum

An album from a forgotten visit in 2007 to the Asian Civilisations Museum …. taken with a camera I do not even remember. A photography experience that probably made me … Continue reading

July 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Tribal Textile Art of Kutch – the Bhuj Folk Art Museum

A self explanatory photo-essay showcasing the mirrorwork & embroidery of various tribes in the Kutch region of Gujarat India. But first an introduction to the two lovely ladies from the … Continue reading

July 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of Mizoram, The Lunglei Museum Collection

A walk through the textile & jewelry section of the Museum of Lunglei, the remotest town in the North Eastern state of Mizoram, India. Details of these pieces are available … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Museum of Food Art

In a lighter vein…. *** Art delights the senses. Foods that I have enjoyed enough to reminesce about them….foods that I have spent time anticipating …foods that become the reason … Continue reading

December 31, 2011

Antique Jain Paintings, India

Jainism as a religion has harmony with all elements of nature as one of the core beliefs. Non violence, minimalistic living and compassion are values central to its philosophy. All … Continue reading

August 13, 2011

Christian Paintings from the Past

Old. Beautiful. Full of stories. Full of devotion. Antique Church Paintings. Many of these are on wood board. Others may be on canvas. Some hang high up on walls and … Continue reading

July 31, 2011 · 4 Comments

Exquisite Vintage Kebayas – the costume of the Peranakan culture

Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya and Straits Chinese are terms used for descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region of British controlled Malaya and the Dutch controlled Java among … Continue reading

April 21, 2011

Pattachitra Art of Assam

Pattachitra is similar to ‘storyboards’ or stories told along with pictures. The tales depicted are usually derived from epics such as Bhagawat and Ramayana. In ancient India, this art was … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · 3 Comments

Textile Art of the Ahom Kingdom – Guwahati Museum Collection

The Ahoms are a community found largely in Assam. This community consists of the descendants of ethnic Tai people who accompanied the Tai prince Sukaphaa who established the Ahom kingdom … Continue reading

February 17, 2011 · 2 Comments

The Vishalla Collection

This amazing collection of antique metal pots, pans, and containers is housed in Ahmedabad. That this museum is not the core engagement of the collector comes as a surprise to … Continue reading

August 21, 2010 · Leave a comment

The ‘Buraq’ in Art

‘The Buraq’ –  a mythological steed with many amazing qualities has been the subject of artists for years. With its range of footsteps equalling its range of vision, the Buraq … Continue reading

August 20, 2010 · Leave a comment

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