Stevens’ Ter­mi­nus: Fred­er­ick Wil­liam Stevens’ Draw­ings of the Vic­to­ria Ter­mi­nus (1878-1888)


Venue: Sir J J Col­lege of Ar­chi­tec­ture, Mum­bai Year: 2013

Fred­er­ick Wil­liam Stevens’s draw­ings of the Great In­dian Penin­su­lar Rail­way Ter­mi­nus (later the Vic­to­ria Ter­mi­nus) were put on pub­lic dis­play for the first time through this ex­hi­bi­tion. Look­ing at the draw­ings, one gets sense that they form a tes­ta­ment of the late 19th cen­tury’s idea of progress, seen of course through west­ern eyes. In his draw­ings, Stevens ex­plores with great skill and un­der­stand­ing Gothic or­na­ment and ar­chi­tec­tural de­vices, in­te­grat­ing, as is an ar­chi­tect’s wont, struc­ture, fur­ni­ture, plumb­ing as well as lo­cal re­sponses to Mum­bai’s cli­matic va­garies. These draw­ings, pri­mar­ily con­struc­tional in na­ture, were made for ex­e­cu­tion on site. Typ­i­cal to work­ing draw­ings sev­eral are mounted on can­vas back­ing to in­crease their life. In­te­grated into these, are the com­plex Gothic or­na­men­tal schemes that re­quired the ex­per­tise of sculp­tors and crafts­men to ac­com­plish.

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