Ancient and Medieval
South Asia Department: Asia
Sona Datta currently has curatorial charge of the Ancient and Medieval South Asia collections. However, recent research interests include modernism in South Asia, with a focus on Jamini Roy, whose work forms the subject of her book Urban Patua (2010).
Sona has been developing the British Museum's modern and contemporary South Asia collections, most recently making important acquisitions from Pakistan. She is working on a major new research project on the history of modernism in South Asian art.
Sona has had a long-standing involvement in the art and culture of South Asia. She speaks Bengali and has studied Tamil and Sanskrit. She joined the Museum in 2005, receiving her doctorate in 2010.
+44 (0)20 7323 8844
South Asia Curator, Modern and abd contemporary South Asia
Garden and Cosmos: the royal paintings of Jodhpur (2009);
Trees of Orissa (2009);
Faith, Narrative and Desire: Masterpieces of Indian painting at the British Museum (2007);
Voices of Bengal (2006)
“Durga at The Museum” (BBC Wales) part of 12 part series, The Museum
“Tara” and ”Siva & Parvati” (BBC 4) Masterpieces from the East
Durga: the goddess comes to London (Channel 5, Maya vision International)
External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies
Elected Scholar of Cambridge University (1994)
GWH Rylands prize for Excellence in the History of Art, Cambridge University (1994)
Member of Society of South Asian Studies
Member of American Council for South Asian Art
S. Datta, Urban Patua, the Art of Jamini Roy, (The Marg Foundation, 2010)
S. Datta, "Jamini Roy and the folk art paradigm", in The Lesser Known Traditions of Indian Painting, ed. Dallapiccola, (Niyogi Books, 2011)
S. Datta, "Celebrating National Treasures: Jamini Roy’s Quest for a Modern India" in Orientations, Vol. 42 No. 7, October 2011, pp. 84-89