Associate Professor of Art History, The College of New Jersey
Deborah hutton is associate professor of asian and islamic art history at the college of new jersey in ewing, nj, usa. She received her ph.d. From the university of minnesota in 2000.
Deborah’s scholarship investigates the relationship between art, identity, and intercultural exchange at the Indo-Islamic courts of the Deccan, from the sixteenth through early twentieth centuries. Her first book, The Art of the Court of Bijapur (Indiana University Press, 2006), won the American Institute of Indian Studies Edward Cameron Dimock Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities. In the work, she argued that Bijapur’s courtly culture, including developments in architecture, urban planning, and painting, consciously coalesced around poetry, mysticism, and metaphor, not to mention interreligious exchange, as a way to bind the heterogeneous members of the court together. She has further investigated aspects of Bijapur’s painting in several subsequent articles; these pieces explore some of the unusual motifs found in the images and connect them with metaphors found in contemporaneous poetry.
For her most recent work on Bijapur, Deborah teamed up with Rebecca Tucker, an expert on Northern European art of the early modern period. Together they traced the travels of the Dutch artist Cornelis Claesz. Heda, who left Haarlem in the late 16th century, and eventually, after more than a decade of itinerant experiences, settled in Bijapur, becoming court artist to Ibrahim Adil Shah II. Heda’s case study is useful not only for providing one example of how an artist might have operated within the early modern global marketplace, but also for placing Bijapur within the larger global context of the period.
Deborah also has dedicated much of the past decade to studying the prominent photographer, Raja Deen Dayal, and the work he did for the court of the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Deborah, and her research partner for this project, Deepali Dewan, not only used primary sources to produce an accurate timeline of Dayal’s career, but they also worked out how to date his photographs using their negative numbers, his various signatures, and the wet stamps on the backs of the photographic prints. They carefully analyzed thousands of his surveying photographs, as well as dozens of surviving intact photographic albums. From that research, they co-authored Raja Deen Dayal: Artist-Photographer in 19th-century India (Mapin and the Alkazi Collection of Photography, 2013). They also co-curated an exhibition on Dayal at the Royal Ontario Museum, which was on view in late 2013-early 2014. Both the book and the as with modern, cosmopolitan systems of visuality and commercial enterprise.