In the early 20th century picture postcards became a global ‘craze’ as an innovative and convenient means of communicating through the combination of image and text. Billions of picture postcards were produced and consumed across the world in the first decade of the 1900s and in Bengaluru Indian and European photographers quickly took up the production of postcards as a lucrative business opportunity, capturing and in some cases staging scenes of urban life in the city. But picture postcards were not only used for everyday communication and quickly became popular collector’s items in their own right, making their way into cherished bundles and specially designed albums.
In this talk I will explore picture postcard production and consumption in early 20th century Bengaluru. I will focus on some of the prominent photographers and studios who became part of complex local and global networks, as well as some of the personal stories and historical insights that emerge from the postcards which were collected of an in Bengaluru at the time.
This talk will draw upon research conducted with collectors and photographers, and through archival records in Bengaluru from 2015-2016 which was funded by the ESRC, as well as ongoing collaborative research with Dr.Stephen Hughes which can be followed @picture_postcard_empire.
In collaboration with The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation