Marg Magazine: New Article
An article co-authored by Rachel Lee, MOD Institute
Founded in 1946 on the eve of independence, Marg was the first Indian magazine to address modern architecture and town planning. As well as surveying classical and contemporary Indian art, architecture, crafts, dance, and photography it reported on contemporary foreign art and architecture, especially that of the United States and Europe. Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra appear in its pages alongside Le Corbusier and Eric Mendelsohn.
This paper focuses on the actors involved in the founding of the groundbreaking magazine – from cultural figures such as Mulk Raj Anand and Homi Bhabha to the architects of the Modern Architectural Research Group (MARG) including Otto Koenigsberger and Minnette De Silva. It discusses the defense of modern architecture as the only appropriate style for an independent India published in the magazine’s inaugural issue in 1946 and examines the dominant role Le Corbusier played and the way the planning position for which he stood was presented in Marg between 1949 and 1961, that is before and during his involvement in designing the new Punjabi state capital of Chandigarh.
In addition, the paper analyses Indian architectural projects by both foreign and native architects published in Marg and argues that Marg’s enthusiastic support of modern European and American architecture is a prominent example of the way in which during this period urban postcolonial intellectuals supported modern architecture in order to distinguish themselves from the former colonial power, who was seen as having less adventurous taste. In the case of Marg, this occurred within the context of comprehensive and proud coverage of the subcontinent’s indigenous art, which, however, in the case of architecture (unlike other media, such as dance), the editors viewed as no longer belonging to a living tradition upon which contemporaries should draw.
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