An initiative of the Menil Collection with cultural, educational, and social justice organizations in the Greater Houston area.
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A popular print of Gandhi

Oct 28
2:07 pm
By Menil

In his lecture, Vinay Lal showed a number of such “popular prints” exhibiting a wide variety of images and ideas of Gandhi. They apparently were printed in runs from 5,000 to 15,000 but are largely undocumented because their makers and printers are long gone and seem to have left no records or archives.


These were one of the types of images in Prof. Lal’s lecture on “Gandhi and the Politics of Visual Representation,” including such categories as sitting Gandhi, standing Gandhi, and sartorial Gandhi. He discussed and showed highly varied examples of the iconography of Gandhi, whom he called the only historical person other than the Buddha–though in Gandhi’s case a secular figure–to have a specific, easily recognized set of attributes: round glasses, walking staff, pocketwatch hanging over a loincloth/dhoti, and sandals, for example.