Crawford Market and the Kipling Connection
Crawford Market shares an interesting connection with that great great representative of the British Empire in India, Mr. Kipling.
But not as you might have though, the author and journalist Rudyard Kipling, but his father John Lockwood Kipling.
John Kipling, Seated, with his son
John Kipling was an artistic man who, while born in Yorkshire in England, spent much of his life in India. There his wife Alice gave birth in Bombay to the boy Rudyard who would later change the view internationally of the British Raj.
The artist John Kipling worked on many famous projects including the decorations for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. But most interesting to us is that he designed the friezes on the Crawford Market building. They show scenes of Indian rural life and farmers as fits the connection with this as a market where farm goods are sold.
Today you can see “Kipling’s Fountain” inside the market itself, in the bird market area. Although often hidden partly by boxes of fruit and vegetables you can make out the tutelary animals and the Indian River Goddess shaped and painted brightly in classical style.
Other important works in the then Bombay designed by John Kipling include the notable railway station building of Victoria Terminus and the local government headquarters across the road from it.
Today you can visit the “Dean’s House” at the JJ School of Art, which is currently vacant but is hoped to turn into an art museum. The beautiful neo-classical colonial building is actually a replacement for the original more modest building where John Kipling, who was Dean of the School, lived with his family.