Madan Mahatta


(b.1932 – d. 2014, lived and worked in Delhi)

The Mahatta studios were one of the largest and well-known family-run studios in North India. Madan studied photography in England in the early 1950s, joining the Delhi studio in 1954 and introducing negative-positive colour printing for the first time in India. A prolific photographer with a sharp sense of light and compositional skill, Madan worked across genres — portraiture, dance and theatre as well as industrial and architectural photography. It is for his architectural photographs, chronicling urban development from the 1950s to the 1980s, that he has become best known. Mahatta’s photographs present a remarkable record of the building of New Delhi at the height of Nehruvian modernism. He worked closely with two generations of India’s modern architects including Achyut Kanvinde, Ajoy Choudhury, Charles Correa, Habib Rahman, Jasbir Sawhney, J.K. Chowdhury, Joseph Allen Stein, Kuldip Singh, Raj Rewal, Ram Sharma, Ranjit Sabhiki and designers Mini Boga and Riten Mozumdar. His photographs of their works are an equal part of the legacy of an important period in Indian modernism.