Scottish architects, imperial identities and India’s built environment in the early twentieth century: the careers of John Begg and George Wittet

Longair, Sarah (2019) Scottish architects, imperial identities and India’s built environment in the early twentieth century: the careers of John Begg and George Wittet. ABE Journal - Architecture Beyond Europe . ISSN 2275-6639

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Scottish architects, imperial identities and India’s built environment in the early twentieth century: the careers of John Begg and George Wittet
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Abstract

Two Scottish architects, John Begg and George Wittet, created several notable landmarks in Mumbai and elsewhere in India under the British Raj in the early twentieth century. Wittet arrived in India in 1904 as Begg’s assistant, and after three years succeeded Begg as Consulting Architect for Bombay when the latter was promoted to Consulting Architect of the Government of India. Begg was responsible for numerous buildings in his twenty-year career in India while Wittet’s major works included the Prince of Wales Museum (now the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya museum) and the Gateway to India. They were also instrumental in architectural education in India through their involvement in the development of the architectural curriculum at the Sir Jamshetji Jeejeebhoy School of Art. Both men therefore made major contributions to the colonial built environment as well as the future of the architectural profession in India.

Throughout the rich history of Scotland and empire is an emphasis upon the contributions of Scots in professional fields, with particular attention being given to medicine and education. Scottish architects and their role in shaping imperial cities around the world have remained notably absent from these studies. This paper will investigate the careers of these two men, their architectural designs, personal connections and professional networks in Scotland and India to analyse the significance of Scottish, British and colonial identities in their development as architects in the empire.

Keywords:Scotland, imperial history, architectural history
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V242 Indian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V212 Scottish History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V145 Modern History 1900-1919
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:34459
Deposited On:25 Apr 2019 08:26

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