B. N. Goswamy



Born on 15 August 1933 in Punjab, Shri B.N. Goswamy is among the foremost authorities on Indian art. As teacher, researcher, author, speaker, and a curator of exhibitions, he has advanced the cause of art history in India and given new insight into its character, creation, and practice. His copious output of research since the 1960s has influenced studies in other arts not excepting the traditional disciplines of music, dance, and drama.
A PhD of Punjab University, Dr Goswami has taught there from 1960 to 1993, retiring as Professor of Art History. During this period he has also taught as Visiting Professor at centres of learning around the world, such as the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg (1973-81), the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles (1983, 1985), the University of Zurich (1986, 1992), the University of Texas at Austin, the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (2001-03), and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (2005). He is a Fellow of several learned societies such as the Royal Society of Arts, The Royal Asiatic Society, and the American Oriental Society. Among other official positions, he has been Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh.
Dr Goswamy's special interests include Indian music, and Ragamala iconography has been one among his subjects of research. His numerous publications include The Social Background of Kangra Valley Paintings (1961), Painters at the Sikh Court (1975), Krishna the Divine Lover (1982), Rasa: les Neuf Visages de l'art Indien (1986), Wonders of a Golden Age: Painting at the Court of the Great Mughals (1987) and The Word is Sacred: Sacred is the Word: The Indian Manuscript Tradition (2006). Several of these works reach out to scholars of India’s performing past.
Shri B. N. Goswamy is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1998) and the Padma Bhushan (2008) for his service to Indian art.
He is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to scholarship in traditional arts.