Saturday, 23 March 2019

‘Blue Room’: Indian murals recreated at Roosevelt House

New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) Using new video and material technology, radiant blue Indian-style murals have been recreated in the dining room of the Roosevelt House, the official residence of the US Ambassador to India, the embassy here has said.

US Ambassador Kenneth Juster unveiled the iconic ‘Blue Room’ at a function held here Wednesday.

The murals were originally created in 1995 by Karen Lukas, an American artist who found inspiration in the people and traditional arts of Rajasthan, at the invitation of the then ambassador Frank Wisner and his wife Christine de Ganay.

Lukas carefully painted the designs over a course of several months, the embassy said in a statement.

Roosevelt House itself has been the official residence of the US Ambassador to India since 1961, and was designed with a vision that fused US and Indian architectural influences. The architect, world-renowned Edward Durell Stone, developed ideas for the exterior from his travels through India.

“Upon taking up his position as the US Ambassador to India in November 2017, Ambassador Kenneth I Juster no longer saw the radiant blue Indian-style murals in the dining room that had been there during his visits to Roosevelt House when he had been Under Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2005,” the statement said.

Researching the history of the murals, the Ambassador learned that they were done by Karen Lukas.

“Last year, Ambassador Juster got in touch with the artist to see if she could recreate her work. She offered to reproduce the designs based on her records. Using new video and materials technologies developed since the creation of the original work, Lukas and the firm EverGreene Architectural Arts were able to create the new Blue Room at Roosevelt House,” the US embassy said.

Funding for this restoration project was provided by the American Chamber of Commerce in India, US-India Business Council and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, and coordinated by The Fund to Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad, a public-private partnership with the US Department of State and its Office of Cultural Heritage, it added.

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