Scope and arrangement
The collection which dates from 1930 to 2003, focuses on the personal and professional life of Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury (1930-2003), an Indian folk dancer, choreographer, actor, writer and fine arts painter. The files hold an incomplete handwritten autobiography, spanning his life from childhood to his paralyzing accident. Chowdhury's family life of wealth and privilege in Madras, India (now Chennai, India) is documented through family photographs. There are also several photographs of Chowdhury's return visits to his parents in India.
Chowdhury's dance career in India and the United States is documented through photographs, programs, and articles. Of his many dance partners, information is broadest on "Bhaskar and Shala" (Shala F. Mattingly). To a lesser extent, Bhaskar's film career is revealed in the photographs and reviews.
The latter part of the collection focuses on Bhaskar's post-dance career as a fine arts painter and author. There are extensive photographs of the paintings (many of the pictures were taken by Mattingly) and several black and white sketches. As an author, Bhaskar wrote on a variety of topics for newspapers and magazines. One notable article was "My Friend and I" written seven months after his accident. This article was about a conversation that he had with his wheelchair that would now become part of his life. Bhaskar's other writings include "Fables of India," a series of children's stories. As a world renowned artist, whose dance career suddenly ended, many articles were written about him. The remainder of the collection includes a few letters relating to the accident, a tribute from La Meri on Bhaskar receiving the St. Denis award, and photographs of Bhaskar, mostly later in life, in his apartment in New York City
Arranged by subject.