Percy Brown (art historian)

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Percy Brown (1872–1955) was a renowned British scholar, artist, art critic, historian and archaeologist,[1] well known as an author on Indian architecture and art, especially for his studies on Greco-Bactrian art.[2]

Percy Brown
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Died1955 (1956) (aged 83)
Alma materRoyal College of Art
OccupationPrincipal of the Mayo School of Arts
Curator of the Lahore Museum
Principal of the Government School of Art in Kolkata
Secretary and curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Life and careerEdit

Patan Durbar Square as depicted in Picturesque Nepal (1912)

Brown was born in Birmingham in 1872.[3] He began his studies at a local art school and then studied at the Royal College of Art, where he graduated in 1898. He was part of the Indian Education Service for 28 years, from 1899 until 1927.[3][4] He became principal of the Mayo School of Arts (today the National College of Arts) in Lahore and curator of the Lahore Museum. In 1909, he left Lahore to be succeeded in the position of principal of the Mayo School of Arts by Ram Singh, who held this post until 1913.[5] The same year, he became the principal of the Government School of Art in Kolkata.[3] He retired in 1927 and became secretary and curator of the Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata. He held the post until 1947 after which he spent his remaining days in Srinagar.[6]

Notable worksEdit

Brown was one of the first writers to have concentrated exclusively on Indian and Buddhist architecture.[7] He wrote several important books on architecture and art, including the two-volume Indian Architecture (Volume I: Buddhist and Hindu Periods and Volume II: Islamic Period) in 1940.[8] Other notable works of his include A descriptive guide to the Department of archaeology & antiquities (1908),[9] Picturesque Nepal (1912),[9]Indian painting (1918),[9] and Tours in Sikhim and the Darjeeling District (1922).[9]


  1. ^ Sir George Watt (1987). Indian Art at Delhi 1903. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 546. ISBN 9788120802780. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  2. ^ "The Popular Science Monthly". Popular Science: 494. 1907. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Archer, Mildred (1995). British Drawings in the India Office Library. H.M.S.O. p. 65. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  4. ^ Rothenstein, William; Tagore Rabindranath (1972). Imperfect encounter: letters of William Rothenstein and Rabindranath Tagore, 1911–1941. Harvard University Press. p. 174. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  5. ^ Barringer, Tim; Tom Flynn (1998). Colonialism and the object: empire, material culture, and the museum. Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 9780415157759. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Brown, Percy". Grove Art Online. doi:10.1093/gao/9781884446054.001.0001/oao-9781884446054-e-7000011616. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  7. ^ Le Huu Phuoc (2010). Buddhist Architecture. Grafikol. p. 4. ISBN 9780984404308. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  8. ^ Messerschmidt, Donald Alan; Dina Bangdel (2004). Against the current: the life of Lain Singh Bangdel, writer, painter, and art historian of Nepal. Orchid Press. p. 33. ISBN 9745240524. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d "Online books by Percy Brown". Retrieved 4 April 2012.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Percy Brown (1872–1955) at Wikimedia Commons