An insider's account of the birth of Modern Indian Art
Art Critic, Photographer, Poet, Painter. (1926-1985)

Richard Bartholomew escaped from Burma around the time of the Japanese invasion during the Second World War and made New Delhi his home. Here, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Literature after which he began his career as a full-time art critic writing for various newspapers, journals and magazines.

His creative writing includes poems and short stories which were published frequently in journals like Thought and the Illustrated Weekly. As a painter, he held one-man shows in New Delhi and Bombay in the 50s and 60s.

As a photographer, he recorded life around him including his family and artist friends. “A Critic’s Eye”, a selection of his photographs, was exhibited at Sepia Gallery, New York in 2008, at Photoink, New Delhi, in January 2009, at the Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata, in 2010 and at Fishbar Gallery, London, in 2011.


1926 Born, 29th November in Tavoy, Burma
1930 Schooled at St Paul’s, Rangoon, Burma
1942 Fled to India during the Japanese occupation of Burma
1948 B.A. (English), St Stephen’s College, New Delhi
1950 M.A. (English), St Stephen’s College, New Delhi
1951-1958 Teacher, Modern School, New Delhi
1953 Married Rati Batra
1958-1960 Assistant Editor, Thought, New Delhi
1958-1962 Art Critic, Indian Express, New Delhi
1955-1960 Art Critic, Thought, New New Delhi
1962 onwards Art Critic, Times of India, New Delhi
1960-1963 Director, Kunika Art Centre, New Delhi
1966-1973 Curator of the first museum of Tibetan Art, Tibet House, New Delhi
1970-1971 Senior Fellowship, John D Rockefeller III Fund, New York
1977-1985 Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1982 Commissioner, Contemporary Indian Art, Festival of India, Great Britain
1984 Invited by the Japan Foundation to meet artists in Japan
1985 Died, 11th January in New Delhi


1971 Husain, Harry N Abrams, New York (co-author)
1972 The Story of Siddhartha’s Release (Poems), Writers Workshop, India
1973 Poems, Writers Workshop, India
1974 Krishna Reddy (Contemporary Indian Art series), Lalit Kala Akademi, India
1986 The Cycle (sonnets), Writers Workshop, India