American artist Waswo X Waswo has lived and worked in India for more than 20 years.

He is best known for the hand-coloured photographs he makes in collaboration with local artists at his studio in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Three photographic works and two minitatures have been acquired by the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent. The photographs comprise The Mutka Chor (The Pot Thief), Hanging the Wash and From a Neighbouring Village, which show models posed by Waswo against elaborate backdrop cloths painted by his collaborator Rakesh Vijay (b1970). Waswo’s black-and-white prints have then been hand-coloured by his other regular collaborator, Rajesh Soni (b1981).

There two miniatures in this acquisition which are a collaboration between Waswo and Vijay.

Waswo studied art and photography in Milwaukee before moving to India. Vijay trained as a miniature painter and now works in a blend of Persian and Mughal styles. Soni is a third-generation hand-colourist and photographer.

These five works now join the extensive collection at the Potteries Museum, where they have an immediate resonance with the many other artworks and ceramic objects with connections to the Indian subcontinent.


The miniature painting is a new work made in 2019. Its first public display/exhibition will be at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

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