The archive of Jyotsna Bhatt (1940–2020) provides insight into the life and practice of the eminent Indian ceramicist, and the local and international milieus of which she was a part. Comprising over 680 records, the Jyotsna Bhatt Archive presents a comprehensive range of materials, including documentation of Bhatt’s artwork; monographs, catalogues, and event ephemera relating to the exhibition history of ceramics in the region; sketchbooks from over thirty years of her practice; select writings by and on the artist; and a rich collection of photo-documentation. The photographs highlight the central role she played at the Ceramic Center in Baroda; her participation in local and international workshops, camps, and residencies; the artist during her student and teaching years; and the larger art community. The collection opens up materials around the history of ceramics and studio pottery in India, including the many discursive fields in which she was participated, and the institutions and spaces where she fostered collective modes of working, making, and learning.


Biographical Note

Jyotsna Bhatt (née Shroff) was born in Mandvi, Kutch (now Gujarat), India, in 1940. Hailing from a family of industrialists, Bhatt studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1957, and at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University of Baroda from 1958–62, under the tutelage of eminent sculptor Sankho Chaudhuri, noted potter Basab Kumar Barua, and trailblazing ceramicist Ira Chaudhuri, who later became a close friend and mentor. In the mid-1960s, she travelled to New York City with her partner, the artist and educator Jyoti Bhatt. There, she studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art School with Professor Jolyon Hofsted from 1965–66. After returning to Baroda (now Vadodara), Bhatt completed her Post Diploma in Sculpture from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University of Baroda in 1968; she then joined its Department of Sculpture to teach ceramics and pottery as a lecturer from 1971–84, and as a Reader from 1985–2002. During this time at the institution, she helped establish Ceramics as a specialisation within the Department of Sculpture, which she headed from 1990 until her retirement from the institution in 2002.

Beginning in 1966, Bhatt had numerous solo shows and participated in notable group exhibitions both in India and internationally until the end of her career. Beyond exhibitions and teaching, Bhatt was also active in developing the ceramics field in India. She shared her technical expertise in ceramics through talks and workshops in art spaces and institutions across India and beyond, and developed infrastructures for ceramic artists by developing shared studios. In 1999, she helped set up the Ceramic Center in Baroda, an independent studio and work space for artists, established by Jyoti Patel and Reshma Patel of Light Publications. From 2002 onwards, Bhatt not only engaged in management and programming for the Center, inviting several artists to participate and conduct workshops, but also had her studio there.

From the 1970s to the 2010s, Jyotsna Bhatt participated in numerous workshops, which proved to be crucial sites for learning and testing new techniques and skills. In 1986, she coordinated the terracotta workshop for studio and traditional potters at Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (IPCL), Vadodara. She also conducted several ceramics workshops, including at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (1997); Moraka Centre for Research and Revival of Crafts at NCPA, Mumbai (1998); and the Hand Built Pottery Programme at Andretta, Himachal Pradesh, organised by Delhi Blue Pottery (2000). In 2019, Bhatt published the monograph Celebrating Earth (Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad) tracing fifty years of her practice.

Jyotsna Bhatt passed away in July 2020.


Description of Series

The Jyotsna Bhatt Archive is organised into five series. Highlights from the archive include Sketchbooks (Series 2) which, beginning from the 1960s, feature notes on glaze techniques, drawings for kilns, sketches for her ceramics, and teaching materials; and Photo-Documentation of Workshops, Exhibitions, Artist Camps, and Travels (Series 5), which showcase modes of collective learning and making fostered specifically for ceramic practice.

1. Artwork Documentation: Images of early works, including those of her student years, and works from the 1970s onwards, categorised by form, such as spheres, cats, cylinders, animal and bird forms, plates, slabs, rings, and collaborative works with Jyoti Bhatt, etc. [1954–2018]

2. Sketchbooks: Sketchbooks and loose sketches, including digital edits of sketches from the 1960s [1965–2020]

3. Catalogues and Event Ephemera: Solo show catalogues, group show catalogues, and invitation cards [1978–2020]

4. Writings and Other Documents: These include writings by and on Jyotsna Bhatt, sub-categorised into 1) Published writings (exhibition reviews, articles, essays, and press clippings), 2) Unpublished writings (manuscripts of essays and interviews), and 3) Biographical notes, study records, and other documents [1958–2020]

5. Photo-Documentation: Images of the art community taken during the artist’s tenure at the Ceramic Center in Baroda; of Bhatt at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda; portraits of the artist; installation views and openings of solo exhibitions; and documentation of workshops, artist camps, group exhibitions, and travels.


Dates (Inclusive)




Materials are mostly in English, Gujarati, and Hindi.


Collection Access

Open for research. Onsite-only and restricted materials—including but not limited to catalogues, newspaper clippings, and unpublished writings—are available for consultation at AAA in Hong Kong, New Delhi, and New York. Please make an appointment at at least one week in advance.


Collection Use

Subject to all copyright laws. Permission to publish materials must be obtained from copyright owners. Please contact or for further enquiries.


History and Project Team

AAA appraised the personal archive of Jyotsna Bhatt in late-2020, which was maintained in the artist’s residence in Vadodara by Jyoti Bhatt. Digitisation of select materials from her personal archive began in March 2021. The collection was launched on AAA’s website in May 2024.

The project team includes Senior Researcher Sneha Ragavan, Project Researcher Niranjana Surendran, and Research Assistant Pallavi Arora.



This project was supported by Godrej Seeds and Genetics Limited, Thapar Education Trust, and Ceramic Center, Baroda.


56 Folders, 681 Records