The New York Times “India Ink” blog featured a story on Pranlal Patel and the images he took of Indian women that will be exhibited by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art beginning Feb. 1. “A Pioneer of Street Photography Leaves Behind Strong Images of Indian Women,” published on Jan. 30, included interviews with Patel, his family and Professor of History Lisa Trivedi, co-curator of the Wellin show, “Refocusing the Lens: Pranlal K. Patel’s Photographs of Women at Work in Ahmedabad.”
The article, a celebration of Patel’s accomplishments, was published posthumously. The 104-year-old photographer died last week with his passport and plane ticket to the United States nearby. His trip to the Wellin Museum was to be his first trip to this country, and the exhibition was the first display of his work here.
Trivedi, who met Patel and his family as a Fulbright Scholar in Gujarat in 1996, was responsible for securing the exhibition and traveled to India to procure the photographer’s negatives. Talking about his work in the article, she said, “Pranlal showed women in the public space, contributing to society and engaged in everyday activities. It was a revolutionary new way to show women, something rarely seen before in pre-World War II photography from India.”