Illuminating India – Science Museum

Until 31st March 2018


Science Museum Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD


Opening Times: 10.00–18.00 (last entry 17.15)

Admission: Free

For further information: 020 7942 4000/



Illuminating India marks 70 years of independence this year from the British! To celebrate this occasion the Science Museum is currently holding an incredible two part exhibition, ‘Photography 1857-2017’, displaying India’s growth in the medium to the present day, and the second ‘5000 years of Science and Innovation’ celebrating India’s contribution to science, technology and mathematics.

Unknown Photographer and Artist, Wedding Portrait of an Indian Couple, 1920-40 © Alkazi Foundation for the Arts


Photography arrived in India very shortly after it’s invention in Britain in 1839, with this display showing an incredible variety of 140 images. From seeing how the medium was used by the military and colonial administrators to document and control people, but it also in turn shows how Indians themselves expressed their unique experiences of the country.

The exhibition centres on two historically significant years, the Mutiny (First War of Independence) 1857 and India’s independence in 1947, revealing photos by formerly overlooked Indian photographers alongside their Western contemporaries.

High Court, Chandigarh, 1955, Lucien Hervé © J. Paul Getty Trust


Works on show include the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Werner Bischof, Olivia Arthur, Sohrab Hura, award-winning contemporary photographer Vasantha Yogananthan and many more. It’s a brilliant presentation of the technological and artistic development of photography in India,  that has never been on show like this before, a must see!

Rama Combing His Hair, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2015, from the series A Myth of Two Souls (2013)
© Vasantha Yogananthan