\”Golconde, The Introduction of Modernism in India\” Reception and Exhibit


Sun, Jun 12, 2022    
3:00 pm

Event Type

“Golconde, The Introduction of Modernism in India” Reception and Exhibit to Be Held at Nakashima Foundation Arts Building on June 12

Celebrating architecture as the union of technology, aesthetics, and social reform, Golconde changed the course of world-famous woodworker, George Nakashima’s life forever.

New Hope, PA (May 12, 2022) – Golconde, a hidden gem and a treasure in India’s architectural history located in Pondicherry, has a special connection to the work and life of George Nakashima. As Nakashima shepherded the construction of the building, he was awakened to a higher consciousness which changed the course of his life forever, enabling him to manifest Karma Yoga in his own unique way – both in architecture and in furniture making.

The Nakashima Foundation will host a special Golconde reception and exhibit at the Nakashima Foundation Arts Building on Sunday, June 12,2022 from 3-5PM on the Nakashima property at 1847 Aquetong Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Golconde itself is not open to the public – it remains a private sanctuary – a home for some of the residents who are members of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  This exhibit invites you to experience virtually its beauty and tranquility, as well as to learn about the story of its creation.

The Golconde exhibit was inaugurated at the University of Texas in Austin, then traveled to Chicago, Arizona, Seattle and Virginia before arriving in New Hope.  It is a glimpse into the “discovery” of Golconde by Pankaj and Christine Gupta, founding partners of VirMueller architects in Delhi in 2003. They discovered a building with an atmosphere of peace and beauty remaining intact since it was completed during World War II.

Pankaj and Christine Gupta have just published the second edition of their book “GOLCONDE – the introduction of modernism in India” which will be available for $50 through the website nakashimawoodworkers.com.  Golconde is the story of Antonin Raymond designing the very first Modernist reinforced concrete building in India and how it changed the course of George Nakashima’s life.

The Golconde opening and reception with limited attendance is by registration only and will be held from 3-5pm on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Tickets for the open reception and

exhibit are $150. For those not attending the opening reception, Golconde exhibit viewing tickets are $25 on select Saturdays by reservation only. Visit nakashimafoundation.org to purchase.

About the Exhibit

Pankaj and Christine created a series of full-scale color prints on fabric, hung so that observers are immersed in a three-dimensional sense of the remarkably beautiful spaces and forms. During their research and documentation, they were allowed unprecedented access to the Ashram archives, unearthing archival photographs and reproducing the original architectural drawings to illustrate the conditions that led to the creation of Golconde.

Golconde is designed with innovative architectural features to alleviate the hot and humid climate without mechanical air conditioning. Thanks to George Nakashima’s formwork design and his strict oversight during construction, the “unfinished” concrete surfaces are still pristine, 80 years after the building was completed! Udar Pinto – the Indian engineer and Nakashima’s friend – oversaw completion after Nakashima left in 1939. Udar’s British wife Mona diligently oversaw housekeeping, assuming the role as the “Guardian of Golconde” until her death in 2004.  The wonderful “ammas” – the service staff of women – still clean and polish the black stone floors daily, and carefully launder the original embroidered bedcovers. All of the woodwork was thankfully restored by Auroville’s Loretta Shartsis and the Spanish woodworker Carlos from 2014-2015, financed by the Nakashima Foundation.

About the Nakashima Arts Building

The unique Nakashima Arts Building with its hyperbolic paraboloid roof is much more than an ordinary gallery space thus enhancing the exhibit.  The Arts Building is at the bottom of the hill below the Conoid Studio at 1847 Aquetong Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938.

Photo caption: The Golconde: Introduction of Modernism in India reception and exhibit will be held at Nakashima Foundation Arts Building on June 12.

Photo credit: Komal Sharma