My book, Yankee India, came out of discoveries in the rich trove of documents and objects from America’s first fascination with India in the Peabody Essex Museum’s collections. These materials reveal the important connections between the United States, a nation in the making, and India in the conundrum of colonization. The U.S. Festival of India in 1985 – 86 provided an opening opportunity to mount an exhibition. Yankee Traders and Indian Merchants, 1785 – 1865. The exhibition brought together for the first time a substantial part of this collection giving an entree into the world of New England traders and their experiences in India’s ports, especially Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. A Calcutta-focused version of the exhibition was the official U.S. contribution to that city’s tercentenary in 1990.
In 2015 I co-curated a multi-venue exhibition, Kindred Nations: The United States and India, 1783-1949, on Indo-American exchanges, a project produced by Meridian International Center for the U.S. Embassy in India.