Sir John Marshall was director of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1902 to 1928. He was responsible for the excavation of the Indus Valley sites of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The images are from The Marshall Albums, and contain images taken while he was ASI director.
The focus is on Delhi, Sanchi, Sarnath, Mohenjodaro and Taxila. These were sites of Marshall's archaeological triumphs.
"The photographs represent the coming together of the documentary, the scientific gathering of data, as well as the use of the photographic in more aesthetic terms", says curator Rahaab Allana.
In Delhi, Marshall restored the Red Fort and the ruins of the Qutub complex. The stupa at Sanchi, which was built by Emperor Ashoka, was restored under Marshall's guidance. There is an image in the Marshall albums of the restoration work in progress. It shows workers, clad in turbans and loincloths, atop the structure.
There are other such moments from the past that one can peek into.
Though the albums are named after him, Marshall took few of the photos himself. The photographers include Horatio Biden (1829-1908), James Waterhouse (1842-1922) and Lala Deen Dayal (1844-1905).
These images were acquired by Ebrahim Alkazi and are now part of The Alkazi Collection of Photography. This collection has over 90,000 images from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Images from The Marshall Albums are on view till Sept 16 at Triveni Kala Sangam, Mandi House, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, Phone: 2371-8833