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Snippets of information - Paintings - Madhubani

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Madhubani paintings have many colour settings. Deep red, green, blue, black,light yellow, pink etc. Red is dominant in many paintings. A bamboo twig is used for drawing outlines. For filling colour pihua, a small piece of cloth tied to a twig is used. Women gather together and make the painting. A leader among them draws the composition and others fill colour. Younger girls assist the older women. Families keep paper notes of the artwork, to be made during ceremonies. It is even shared with the same caste from different villages. The styles get repeated but with variations, though the idioms remain the same.
- Goddess Durga - images from Madhubani painting, Soma Ghosh, deccanviews.wordpress.com


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Mithila painting, as a domestic ritual activity, was unknown to the outside world until the massive Bihar earthquake of 1934. House walls had tumbled down, and the British colonial officer in Madhubani District, William G. Archer, inspecting the damage "discovered" the paintings on the newly exposed interior walls of homes. Archer - later to become the South Asia Curator at London's Victoria and Albert Museum - was stunned by the beauty of the paintings and similarities to the work of modern Western artists like Klee, Miro, and Picasso. During the 1930s he took black and white photos of some of these paintings, the earliest images we have of them. Then in a 1949 article in the Indian art journal, Marg, he brought the wall paintings to public attention
- mithilapaintings-eaf.org/


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Ethnic Arts Foundation (EAF), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to sustaining the Mithila painting tradition

In 1977, while conducting research in Madhubani, the American anthropologist, Raymond Owens, was stunned by the beauty of some of the paintings on paper. Aware that commercial dealers were grossly underpaying the artists for mass produced paintings he encouraged artists to take their time, do paintings they truly cared about, and offered to buy them for 5 to 10 times the dealers' prices. When Owens returned to the US he showed the paintings to fellow anthropologist, David Szanton, who was equally entranced by them.

 Then in 1980, with several colleagues they established the Ethnic Arts Foundation (EAF), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to sustaining the Mithila painting tradition, and most immediately, to hold the funds from sales until Owens could redistribute them to the artists on his next trip to India.
mithilapaintings-eaf.org