A publication focusing on arts and culture in India that brings out a quarterly magazine along with books on art, Marg was established in 1947 by writer and critic Mulk Raj Anand. Born out of a vision to consolidate a history of Indian arts and culture, as well as to offer insight and debates on Indian national identity, Marg reflected the Nehruvian vision of Indian modernity. Initially, in keeping with Anand’s conviction about architecture’s pivotal importance, the magazine’s name stood for Modern Architecture Research Group, as well as the Hindi translation of the word which meant “pathway”. The magazine was supported by the patronage of JRD Tata from its inception until 1951, after which it received support from the Tata Group of Companies until 1986, followed by the patronage of the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Marg was associated with leading modern artists such as Charles Correa, Le Corbusier and Minnette de Silva (who was also a contributing editor) as well as art historians and intellectuals such as Karl Khandalavala, Shahid Suhrawardy, Nihar Ranjan Ray and Bishnu Dey. It played a crucial role in the development of new urban projects of Chandigarh and “New” Bombay (now, Navi Mumbai) – both of which were extensively featured in the magazine; cataloguing and documenting heritage sites such as Hampi, Konarak, Elephanta, Khajuraho, Bamiyan, Bagh caves, Samarkand and Bhimbetka; and fostering a modernist art practice.
From 1976 onwards, Marg began publishing books on artist monographs and site studies such as Persian Painting: Fourteenth Century-Fifteenth Century by Mulk Raj Anand (1977), Homage to Shravan Belagola (1981) by Saryu Doshi, The Legends of Rama: Artistic Visions (1994) by Vidya Dehejia, Expressions and Evocations: Contemporary Women Artists of India (1996) by Gayatri Sinha, Wonders of Nature: Ustad Mansur at the Mughal Court (2012) by Asok Kumar Das and Husain’s Raj: Visions of Empire and Nation (2016) by Sumathi Ramaswamy. Marg also continued to publish the magazine with occasional thematic issues on subjects such as Kashmiri heritage, early Buddhist art, folk dances, documentary films of India, etc. In addition to publications, Marg introduced thematic ad portfolios from 1976 in its volumes.
Since 2010, it has been operating under the auspices of Marg Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organisation. Apart from Anand, who was its founding editor, the magazine has since been edited by eminent scholars including Saryu Doshi, Roshan Sabavala, Pratapaditya Pal, Vidya Dehejia, Radhika Sabavala, Jyotindra Jain and Naman Ahuja. Until 2021, Marg was published by Marg Foundation’s CEO, Rizio B. Yohannan. It is currently housed in the historic Army & Navy Building in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.
“About us.” Marg. Accessed, July 9, 2021. https://marg-art.org/team
Das, Soumitra. “‘Marg’ art magazine: The trailblazer at 75.” New Indian Express, March 14, 2021. https://www.newindianexpress.com/magazine/2021/mar/14/marg-art-magazine-the-trailblazer-at-75-2275379.html
Halim, Moeena. “Marg ESTD. 1947 and now online: A digital pathway to Indian art.” India Today, February 9, 2018. https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/leisure/story/20180219-marg-india-oldest-art-magazine-online-version-1166252-2018-02-09
Hoskote, Ranjit. “The last of Indian English fiction’s grand troika.” The Hindu, September 29, 2004. https://web.archive.org/web/20041217175613/http://www.hindu.com/2004/09/29/stories/2004092904171100.htm
Lee, Rachel and Kathleen James-Chakraborty. “Marg Magazine: A Tryst with Architectural Modernity.” Architecture Beyond Europe. 2012. https://doi.org/10.4000/abe.623