Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus

Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus

Keeper of Eastern Art and Curator of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, Ashmolean Museum

Associate Professor for the History of Art in India

Fellow by Special Election

Research Summary

Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus is Keeper of the Eastern Art Department at the Ashmolean Museum where the collections include ceramics, textiles, sculpture, metalwork, paintings, prints and other decorative arts that span more than 5,000 years of cultural and artistic development in Asia. Her curatorial responsibilities are mainly in the area of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art. As Associate Professor for the History of Art in India her remit at Oxford includes teaching and research in Indian material and visual culture. 

Dr Kumbera Landrus specialises in the history of art and architecture in India, particularly with regard to the intersection of art, architecture, religion, politics and socio-economics. She is especially interested in issues of cultural translation, focusing on works and built environments created for and by colonial powers, and by emerging cultures that were themselves hybrid, transnational and diasporic.


Dr Kumbera Landrus was Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Curator for the Ashmolean Museum’s University Engagement Programme (UEP) between 2012 and 2017. Before Oxford, she was a senior lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) while simultaneously holding teaching, research, curatorial and/or management posts at institutes such as Princeton University, Brown University and the Jaipur City Palace Museum. She was the first Director of Princeton’s Global Seminar Programme in India. In the late 1990s, she was a member of the Torre de Palma excavation in Portugal, one of the largest Roman villas in Iberia. 


Featured publications

2015 Parish Churches, Colonisation and Conversion in Sixteenth-Century Portuguese Goa, in Parish Churches in the Early Modern World, ed. Andrew Spicer, Ashgate

2015 Yoshida Hiroshi: A Japanese artist in India, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 19 June–13 September, (Kolkata). Edited by C Pollard and M Kumbera Landrus

2015 Bengal and Modernity: Early 20th century art in India, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2 March–1 June (Kolkata). Contributors: S Bhandare, M Kumbera Landrus, A Lahiri, P Mitter and P Pal

2014 Trans-cultural Temples: Identity and Practice in Goa, in In the Shadow of the Golden Age, ed. Julia Hegewald, EB Verlag, Berlin  

2014 Sculptures from Kerala: Form and Performance, in Marg Publications, Mumbai

2011 Women Representing Women in Tradition, Trauma, Transformation: Representations of Women, Brown University

2010 Early Masterpieces, 1950s–70s in MF Husain, Brown University

2009 Goa: the Rome of the Orient in Baroque, 1620–1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, eds. Nigel Llewellyn and Michael Snodin. London: V & A Publishing

2008 Catalogue entries on the Indian objects [Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Colonial] in Selected Works, Catalogue of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, pp. 48–52.

2006 Portuguese Goa – Taking Ownership with Architecture, in Vanamala, ed. Klaus Bruhn and Gerd Mevissen, Wiedler Buchverlag, Berlin, pp. 97–107.

2003 Vijayanagara Art: A Political and Historical Metaphor, in Sagar 10 (University of Texas at Austin) 78–101.