A Guileless Modernist
The Life and Work of Leela Mukherjee
Edited by R. Siva Kumar
Leela Mukherjee (1916–2003) was one the first women sculptors of modern India. Born in Karachi, she was educated at Banaras and Santiniketan, where she had the legendary sculptor Ramkinkar Baij as her teacher. Yet, like all women artists of her time, becoming an artist was an arduous project of self-determination. Further, she was overshadowed first by her husband, Benodebehari Mukherjee and later by her daughter, who found greater recognition. Despite these difficulties, she soldiered along, and her work, especially her wood carvings, is finding belated recognition. This is the first study of the artist, and it tries to present her as a person and an artist of singular determination.