Shelfish about art

Updated: Sep 18, 2019, 08:13 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

We pick the best new titles from Art Deco Mumbai's free library, and Piramal Museum of Art's shop for you to browse and buy

The library contains local and international titles on the architectural style. Pics/Suresh Karkera
The library contains local and international titles on the architectural style. Pics/Suresh Karkera

A narrow stairway in Fort's Jethalal Mansion transports you to an age of glamour. It's where the office of Art Deco Mumbai, a public charitable trust that documents the city's vast collection of Art Deco structures, is situated. Due to the dearth of resources on the subject, they started a small library inside the office which houses Art Deco-related books that have been either bought or gifted.

Art Deco Mumbai

Art Deco Mumbai

Bombay 1956: The guide was published by the Government of India annually. "It's nice to see that the state then could talk about itself with such pride. It talks of not just Bombay but the state of Maharashtra — it's size and agriculture as well as ethnic diversity," says Atul Kumar, founder trustee.

Art Deco Mumbai

Bombay — The Island of Good Life: The 1950s title doesn't come only with a pretty cover but also serves as an illustrated guide to the city and its environs. Detailing what to see and where to stay, the compact booklet was published by the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Pointing to a picture of a vintage car, Kumar shares, "It tells you about the neighbourhood, the people, the food. All this helps us recreate the social and cultural fabric of that time."

Art Deco Mumbai

Cinema brochures: The library also has a collection of informational brochures circulated by the city's cinemas. This weekly programme circulated by Excelsior, for instance, opens with an announcement of the screening of Herbert Wilcox's The Return of the Frog that is based on Edgar Wallace's novel.

Vishaka Bhat and Atul Kumar of Art Deco Mumbai
Vishaka Bhat and Atul Kumar of Art Deco Mumbai

At Jethalal Mansion, 10 Bank Street Cross Lane, Fort.
Log on to artdecomumbai.com/research/compendium-of-art-deco-mumbai/ (Booking an appointment is mandatory)
Free

Piramal Museum of Art

Scent upon a Southern Breeze by Kavita Singh New titles by The Marg Foundation have arrived in the museum's shop. Singh's book comprises essays on Deccani art — exploring not just visuals, but also aural and olfactory senses.

Piramal Museum of Art

A Magic World: New Visions of Indian Painting Edited by Molly Emma Aitken, this volume is a tribute to Ananda Coomaraswamy's Rajput Painting of 1916. The book delves into the paintings from 16th- to early 20th-century Rajput, Mughal and Deccan India.

Piramal Museum of Art

A Mediated Magic: The Indian Presence in Modernism 1880-1930 The richly illustrated volume, edited by Naman P Ahuja and Louise Belfrage, probes into how great European artists drew from Indian ideas. The idea of art here, extends beyond just paintings but also include theatre, ballet and film.

Piramal Museum of Art

At Piramal Museum of Art, Peninsula Corporate Park, Lower Parel.
Time 11 am to 8 pm
Call 30466981
Free

Also check out

Art Deco Traveller: A Guide to Europe by Genista Davidson
Bombay Deco by Rahul Mehrotra and Sharada Dwivedi: It traces the genesis and decline of the Art Deco movement in the city.
Art Deco by Bevis Hillier: A comprehensive study on the style, written by the man who coined the term.

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