Ajay Salunkhe

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • History of Museums in India
  • Colonialism and Modernity
  • Nationalism and Art
  • Colonial and Post-Colonial Visual Culture
  • Indian Art and Art History
  • History of Photography
  • Anthropology and Photography
  • Museum Studies
  • International Bureaucracies
  • Cold War and Politics of Art
  • Indo-US Relations and Cultural Exchanges
  • South Asian Art in the USA


Ajay Salunkhe is a Historian specialising in Museum Practices in modern South Asia. He earned both his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in History from the University of Mumbai and is currently in the final stages of completing his Doctoral thesis from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT Guwahati).

Ajay’s research is centred on exploring the institutional Histories of Museums in modern India and their significance in understanding the national and International political landscapes. Employing interdisciplinary approaches, ranging from archival research to visual anthropology, his work delves into the interpretation of exhibition spaces and curatorial practices as historical sources, contributing to the narrative of post-colonial India’s history.

Previously, Ajay worked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, where he was involved in exhibition curation, collection management and the development of educational programmes.

Ajay has been the recipient of national research grants from the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) (2021) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) (2022). His research has also received support from international grants and fellowships, such as the Charles Wallace India Trust Short Research Grant (2022) and the Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship (2022) enabling him to incorporate new archival sources for writing histories of international cultural bureaucracies and curatorial exchanges. His doctoral study at the IIT Guwahati was supported by the Junior and Senior Research Fellowships by the Ministry of Education, Government of India (2018−2023).

Beyond academia, Ajay loves playing vintage board and video games and catching Pokémon.


Chapter in Edited Book

  • Salunkhe, A. (Forthcoming). My mother’s stories: Access, absence, and archive in the making of family albums. In S. Narain & S. Goswami (Eds.), Framing Portraits, Binding Albums: Family Photographs in India.

Journal Article

Newsletter Article