dark blue cotton rectangle with a 5" dark red border; embroidered patterns of flowers, birds, horses and elephants completely cover hanging. All colors are applied in a chainstitch; round glass mirrors 1/2" in diameter are incorporated into the designs and held in place by green threads; back of hanging with a dark blue lining showing back of embroidery patterns, a rod pocket has been added at top for suspending piece. Alba (mirror) work purchased in the Gujrat state of India ca. 1988 - shows typical art of that area.
The Potdar family, Suresh, Asha, Vaishali and Deepali lived in Holland for many years. The parents had a desire to escape bigcity life in London which led Suresh to search for a job which led the family to Holland, Michigan. Asha and Suresh moved from Bombay, India to London in 1965 after he received a master’s degree in organic chemistry.
He worked for a London company that made pigments and dyes. But the cost of living in London was high and the Potdars longed for life in a smaller city, possibly in the United States.
Suresh sent his resume to 30 American companies in 1974 and received three responses, one of them from Chemtron in Holland. The Potdars were impressed by Holland’s low crime rate, low cost of living, and small-town atmosphere.
The family moved to Holland in 1975 after Suresh was offered a job at Chemtron. The family’s biggest adjustment proved to the winter weather. Learning a new currency also presented a challenge.
In 1998, when the family was featured in a Museum exhibit, Common Bonds, there were about 20 families from India living in Holland, many of them professionals. The group of families were close knit, family-oriented, and helped each other out. They had an association that sponsors two Hindu festivals – the Diwali in November and Holi in March – and a summer picnic. The closest Hindu monastery at the time was in Ganges, and large temples were in Chicago and Detroit.
Chemtron was purchased by BASF where Suresh worked until retiring in 1996. The Potdars are content with their decision to move to Holland. Despite the growth over the years, Holland is still a small town in their eyes.
Gift ofPotdar, Suresh and Asha