Education, Visual Art and Cultural Revival: Tagore, Geddes, Nivedita, and Coomaraswamy

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Murdo J S Macdonald

Abstract

Rabindranath Tagore and Patrick Geddes were part of the same milieu long before they met. They were both internationally minded cultural thinkers. The links between them are illuminated by consideration of their links with two other internationally minded cultural activists: the Irishwoman Margaret Noble, better known as Sister Nivedita, and the historian of art and ideas Ananda Coomaraswamy. The lives of all four exemplify educational and political expression driven by spiritual commitment and underpinned by literature and the visual arts. 

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Author Biography

Murdo J S Macdonald, University of Dundee

Murdo Macdonald is Professor of History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee. His doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh explored the relationships between art and science. He is a former editor of Edinburgh Review. His research interests include the art of the Scottish Gàidhealtachd, the cultural milieu of Patrick Geddes (not least with respect to India), visual interpretations of the life and work of Robert Burns, and the cloud chamber photography of the Scottish physicist and Nobel laureate C. T. R. Wilson. He has a longstanding interest in Ossian and art in an international context, which he explored as part of the Cesarotti project at the University of Padua in 2013. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture in 2009, and an honorary fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies in 2016.

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