The savants of the twentieth century have excavated the past to discerningly reveal the present. Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi and Ananda Coomaraswamy, among others, interpreted Indian aesthetics, civilization, culture and philosophy unearthing the Indian wisdom against the wrong interpretations and teachings of the Western colonial scholars. This volume, a collection of papers presented at a national seminar on the Philosophy of Ananda Coomaraswamy held in February 2011 at the University of Hyderabad, approaches Coomaraswamy’s philosophy on Indian aesthetics, life and religion from different perspectives.
The volume brings forth different facets of Coomaraswamy: as a catalyst in spiritualizing Indian arts; his views on modernism and anti-modernism; his efforts in aestheticizing India; his polemics of decolonization through art criticism; his aesthetical philosophy; his perception and understanding on art, culture and Indianness; his metaphysics; and his philosophical approach to visuals and materials from the lens of an art historian. It sketches Coomaraswamy’s multifaceted persona, enunciating that the crux of modern Indian philosophy is one of vision, rather than building theories.
In a nutshell this book presents the varied reflections on Coomaraswamy’s personality as a philosopher, art historian, art curator and his strong positioning against the colonial teachings of Western art historians and philosophers on India’s art, civilization and culture, projecting an image of Indianness in every sphere.
Ananda Coomaraswamy: A Pen Sketch
1. Ananda Coomaraswamy and the Spiritualist Reading of Indian Arts
— Sharad Deshpande
2. The Two Faces of Ananda Coomaraswamy: Discourses on Modernism and Anti-Modernism
— Parul Dave Mukherji
3. Aestheticizing the Nation: An Essay on Ananda Coomaraswamy
— Mohan G. Ramanan
4. Polemics of Decolonization: The Art Criticism of Sri Aurobindo and Ananda Coomaraswamy
— Sachidananda Mohanty
5. Towards an Understanding of the Aesthetical Philosophy of Coomaraswamy
— Ranjan K. Ghosh
6. Ananda Coomaraswamy on Art, Culture and Indianness
— Archana Degaonkar
7. Coomaraswamy as a Metaphysician
— R.C. Pradhan
8. The Visual and the Material in Coomaraswamy’s Art History
— Sarada Natarajan