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At 60, Jehangir Gallery gets a facelift

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and Jehangir Art Gallery swears by this. The gallery will celebrate its 60th anniversary and the 50th death anniversary of its founder, Cowasji Jehangir by hosting a first-of-its-kind, 11 day-long art and cultural festival from October 17 to 28 and unveiling its newly renovated avtar.

As part of the festival, the gallery has organised an auction of paintings donated by 47 master artists such as SH Raza, late MF Hussain, Akbar Padamsee, Krishen Khanna, KH Ara and NS Bendre on October 17 and a fundraising concert by tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Husain on October 27 at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). The festival will also feature a fashion show by designer Sabaysachi Mukherjee on October 28 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangralaya. A special exhibition on the history of the gallery which will also be showcased throughout the festival at the newly renovated gallery.


Jehangir Art Gallery hosted its first ever exhibition in January 1952

“The main purpose of the festival is to celebrate the completion of 60 years of the gallery and raise funds to organise, upgrade and expand the gallery to keep abreast with the modern times,” says Sapna Kar, festival director. “A part of the money raised from the auction and the sale of passes for the concert will be utilised to revamp the gallery,” adds Kar. As a part of its revamp, the gallery is also all set to go online for the first time since its inception (www.jehangirartgallery.com), with a vision to reach out to a larger audience in India and abroad. 

“The website will go live from October 17,” says Kar, with excitement evident in her voice. Kar strongly believes that the website will form a great archival treasure for future generations. “Imagine 10 years down the line, you can still go back and have a look at your favourite artist’s exhibition held at the gallery. Moreover, the website will help artists take their artworks to a larger audience and will also cater to people who are unable to be physically present at the gallery to view the exhibitions,” she adds.


Jehangir Art Gallery’s chairman Adi Jehangir with secretary KG Menon at the renovated art gallery. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

“Patronage is important to art. We particularly urge young collectors to come forward and preserve a legacy for the future,” appeals industrialist Harsh Goenka. “I have been showing my artworks in Jehangir since 1958-59. Every time, there have been a large number of viewers, unimaginable anywhere else. No other gallery in India occupies a place in popular mind, imagination and the artistic world as Jehangir does. I wish there were Jehangirs in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai at least,” concludes artist SH Raza.

PROFILE OF JEHANGIR ART GALLERY
The Jehangir Art Gallery was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir at the urging of KK Hebbar and Homi Bhabha. Managed by the Bombay Art Society, the entire cost of this mansion was donated by Cowasji Jehangir. The gallery, which is linked with the renaissance of Indian art is also one of the early concrete structures in the city. Designed by GM Bhuta, the gallery was built in 1952. It has been designed in such a way that it can be used as both an auditorium and an art gallery. 

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