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A Yank's Memories of Calcutta and Memorabilia

08-12-2014 To 24-01-2015
Kolkata formerly Calcutta is a city shrouded in time warp basking in its earlier glory as the former capital of the country. Immortalized in art and literature, the city reveals a unique paradox of extremes, of grandiose and luxury, poverty and wealth coexisting harmoniously. Calcutta in the first half of the twentieth century revealed a city with exponential examples of architecture and modernities. The buildings still adorn the city speaking tales of a glorious past. Aakriti Art Gallery , Kolkata is hosting an exhibition of sixty gelatin silver prints photographed by Clyde Waddell. ‘A Yank’s Memory of Calcutta’ would be held between 8 December’2014- 24 January'2015.  Clyde Waddell immortalized Calcutta in the early twentieth century through his series of photographs ‘A Yank’s memory of Calcutta’.There were few men in India as qualified as Clyde Waddell to accomplish the project . Waddell, who was Chief Photographer for the Huston Press before joining the army , was flown to the India-Burma Theater, the Allied fronts for World War II in November 1943 and attached to the Public Relations Staff of Southeast Asia Command with the express purpose of acting as personal press photographer for Supreme Commander Admiral Lord Luis Mountbatten. From the day he landed at headquarters in Ceylon, until February 1945, Waddell accompanied the “Supremo”throughout Southeast Asia, visiting battle-fronts, hospital stations, and other strategic areas. When Phoenix Magazine, a 24 page picture weekly sponsored by the combined U.S. – British command, was formed in February 1945, Weddell took leave of the Theater Commander and resume his old chores as a news photographer. After returning from the Singapore operation, Waddell was granted a dearly earned leave. For the first time in almost two years of overseas duty, he did not have an assignment. And, like the sailor who spends his liberty rowing around Central Park Lake, Clyde began to take pictures. He took pictures of the city in most intimate manner rediscovering the nooks and corners of the city. The magic of Calcutta in the twentieth century was beautifully captured by him through his camera.The project brought him into some of the remotest out of bound areas and even on top of Calcutta’s Howrah Bridge. Sixty original gelatin silver photographs along with objects from that period are being exhibited. The objects exhibited include a portable typewriter, cameras, medals, ink wells, advertisement boards, which serve as memorabilia of Calcutta during World War II. Original clippings of that period are being screened which serves an educational purpose.The album is extremely rare and was dedicated to the GI’s, with an introductory note by N. Chas. Preston.’, says Vikram Bachhawat, Director of Aakriti Art Gallery.The exhibition would serve as an ode to the city of Calcutta in her former glory. Aakriti Art Gallery (A unit of Chisel Crafts Pvt. Ltd.) Orbit Enclave, First Floor 12/3A, Hungerford Street Kolkata-700 017 Phones +91 33 22893027 +91 33 22895041

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