“Richard Bartholomew: The Art Critic” by Pablo Bartholomew

This was an evening of the launch of the book “Richard Bartholomew: The Art Critic” by Pablo Bartholomew.

Pablo Bartholomew

I am not an avid book reader. But of course I am a keen learner to know about various forms of art and on the other hand it was Pablo’s (a photographer) book. Pablo Bartholomew compiled this book by putting his father Richard’s writing on art criticism from 1950 – 1980 and photographs from that era too.  His father passed away in 1985 and keeping his spirit alive through his writings and photos would have been a task then how many of us are lucky to live up to all the expectations of family and even the crowd around you.

I am sure that the same evening must have had different meaning for each one from the audience as I could see many protagonists like S.H.Raza, Ram Kumar, Satish Gujral, Ashok Bajpeyi, A. Ramachandran and some more names. Actually many were there whose names and stories are written in this historic book.

A. Ramachandran & Krishen Khanna

Rati Bartholomew

What a blissful day for them and a proud moment for Pablo to have them all right there. This is a book of remembrance of lives and art. It pays tribute to his father for his role in the field of art and of course to many other living legends. This evening reflected that how the existence of something could be cherished by so many people.

Pablo Bartholomew

Rati Bartholomew, Pablo Bartholomew, Ashok Vajpeyi, Rosalyn D’mello

Another magical moment was the reading session by Rosalyn D’mello.  As she read some of the selected paragraphs from the book, so many thoughts pervade my mind i.e. what kept Pablo doing what he long to do? How many roadblocks he must have faced? What we might read from the past now, but others who are still alive and sitting right here representing the past. They already lived in that era….Rosalyn continued her reading from various other chapters; it seemed to me as an immense powerful work. While she reads more, I get a sense of marvel. I can’t dare to write anything about that book but I think of the journey of brining this book, it is indeed a historical document for Modern Indian Art.

Rosalyn D’mello

Most of us see the art and enjoy ourselves but how many takes responsibility to seek something more which is essential for our growth and which has a capacity to change lives of many. Writing someone’s testimony is a huge responsibility. Each of us dream one or the other special thing in life and at times these dreams deserve to take place in the real world to match with its significance. That’s how Pablo’s book arrived even after more than a decade. “Rati Bartholomew also made a huge contribution with the edit and records” said Pablo.

I remind myself of the power of reading and I hope to be persistent with my reading habit. If my reading habits keep pace for a while then hope to read this brick size book of Pablo. For now I share some of the transcendent moments from that evening.

Rati Bartholomew, Pablo Bartholomew, Ashok Vajpeyi, Rosalyn D’mello

Ram Kumar, Rati Bartholomew, Pablo Bartholomew

Pablo with his mother Rati Bartholomew

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2 thoughts on ““Richard Bartholomew: The Art Critic” by Pablo Bartholomew

  1. Pablo Bartholomew is one of those photographers I have the greatest respect for, Navneet. Being away from Delhi and being away from most of the action, these photographs have transported me to the evening when some much-desired moments were taking place.

    An aunt of mine was a friend of Mr. Bartholomew in his younger days. And an uncle of mine, also from Delhi had the great opportunity of being in his first year in office, when Mr. Richard Bartholomew was the secretary of Lalit Kala Akademi. He also knew Rati ji since he worked in Sangeet-Natya Akademi and greatly admired her street plays.

    Delhi in the 60s, 70s, 80s is like a fable to me, of stories conveyed by Pablo Bartholomew, of anecdotes by aging aunts and uncles, of a Delhi my father used to visit every year in his younger days, to his extended families. It is like a fable to me. Where so much has happened for thousands of years, where so much is happening right now, where my friend and his girlfriend has kissed shielded by the tomb of Illtutmish, a city which has seen my grandmother getting married in two-day’s notice. A city which has seen her returning with swollen eyes two years later, newly widowed.

    I see in your photographs, some of the characters from my fabled Delhi. And it’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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