Genealogies of an Exhibition - Beyond the Page: South Asian Miniature Painting and Britain, 1600 to Now

Barber Lecture Theatre
Wednesday 29 November 2023 (16:15-17:30)

For event enquiries, please contact Greg Salter at

Imran Qureshi, A Lover Waiting For His Beloved, 1999. Private Collection, London

Hammad Nasar (curator and writer)

Beyond the Page (7 Oct 2023 – 28 January 2024, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes) tells the story of contemporary art’s engagement with the historic traditions of South Asian miniature painting through 180 works drawn from historic public collections (including the Royal Collection and the V&A), rarely accessed private collections and contemporary commissions.             

In tracing its genealogies, this talk will explore how artists in South Asia and beyond continue to find contemporary relevance in the possibilities offered by the miniature tradition. That many of the world’s greatest collections of South Asian miniature paintings and manuscripts are held in Britain also raises questions of culture and power in the entangled histories of Empire and globalisation. These histories are reflected in the hierarchies of museum collections and art school curriculums. What would it mean if JMW Turner’s best paintings were in the museum stores of Lahore and New Delhi? 

Hosted in The Barber Institute of Fine Arts Lecture Theatre, the presentation will be followed by questions and discussion, and then refreshments. This event is organised by the Department Of Art History, Curating, And Visual Studies. It is open to all – students and staff from the University Of Birmingham and members of the public. It is free but booking is required.

Image:  Imran Qureshi, A Lover Waiting For His Beloved, 1999. Private Collection, London