Visit To: Anokhi Museum, India
Words & photos by Lauren K. Lancy
Written for The Kindcraft
The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing in Jaipur, India offers a comprehensive exhibition of historical and contemporary textiles and a diverse collection of regional block prints. Set inside a restored 16th century haveli mansion near Jaipur’s Amer Fort, the museum is the initiative of Founder & Director, Rachel Bracken Singh and her husband Pritam Singh. It opened its doors in 2005 after being renovated by its owner John Singh in cooperation with local craftsman using indigenous material and techniques. In 2000, the restoration was honoured with the UNESCO award for ‘Cultural Heritage Conservation’.
While Indian block printing is widely believed to have originated in the 14th century, there are examples of antique Rajasthani printed cloths that date back to the 3rd century CE. Traditionally, this craft is done in a village setting in cooperation between the block carvers, chhipas printers, rangrez dyers, and dhobis washers. Beside the museum’s permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, visitors may watch in-house Artisans demonstrate the printing-making process—from carving the blocks to hand-printing patterns.
The full version of this feature was first published on The Kindcraft and includes high definition pictures of the making process and exhibited textiles.