Dr. Deborah Thiagarajan

Dr. Deborah Thiagarajan

Founder Director, Dakshina Chitra Architectural Heritage Museum, Chennai

An avid museum goer, always intrigued by the nuances of cultures and languages of the countries she has resided in; the US where
she was born and mostly brought up, Toronto Canada, Germany and France where she studied, Geneva where she worked at the
ILO and where she discovered ASIA and India, and India where she has resided since 1970. Comparative Literature (undergraduate), International and Development Education (MA) Cultural Anthropology, South Asian Regional Studies with a focus on the arts of India (MA), and a PhD in Ancient Indian Art and Culture from the University of Madras represent her academic journey.

She founded the Madras Craft Foundation in 1984 with the goal of establishing a museum to represent the art, crafts, architecture
and lifestyles of the South of India, the inspiration of which came from her work in rural Tamilnadu. The museum opened in December 1996. The in-between years were filled with research, school programs, exhibitions, writing fundraising, organizing, planning, and visioning and collecting. They also represented years of her work as convener of INTACH from 1984-98, with multiple listing projects and a major campaign on the Cooum River and on Malaria, both working in tandem with the state government for the Cooum and the Institute for Malaria research for the anti-malaria campaign. She has written numerous articles on architecture and museums and edited several books.

She was married to K.M Thiagarajan and has three daughters.