Tuesday, August 6, 2013

World-renowned institutions that collect and display Indian art

There are a host of world-renowned institutions that collect and display Indian art. Their collection is largely driven by immense curiosity among aware art lovers to explore India’s astonishing transition from a humble agrarian economy to an economic superpower with complex socio-political connotations as seen through the eyes of premier artists.

For example, Glenbarra Art Museum in Japan is Masanori Fukuoka’s brainchild. It boasts of a truly rich collection of Indian art by masters and contemporaries like Akbar Padamsee, Arpita Singh, F.N. Souza, Ganesh Pyne, Jogen Chowdhury, J. Swaminathan, M.F. Hussain, Nasreen Mohamedi, Ram Kumar, Tyeb Mehta, Ved Nayar, V.S. Gaitonde, Atul Dodiya, Krishen Khanna, Laxma Goud, Manjit Bawa, Prabhakar Kolte, and Prabhakar Barwe.

Another noteworthy art institution keen to promote contemporary Indian art is The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) based in Shanghai. This premier, independently run contemporary art institution, funded by the Samuel Kung Foundation and endorsed by the Shanghai Municipal Government, aims to nurture the appreciation of Chinese and international art.

The MoCA hosted last year a milestone exhibition, entitled ‘India Xianzai’. It was a ‘timely investigation of the increasing presence of contemporary Indian art in Asia, and the encounter between what really constitutes Indian-ness in the context of today’s art and 'global' community. Another prominent institution that promotes India art is Massachusetts based Peabody Essex Museum (PEM).

The museum has established a unique international position as the possessor of a comprehensive collection that showcases both breadth and depth of stupendous Indian artistic achievement. It presents a wide array of exhibits of modern and contemporary artists, publications, and programs towards engendering appreciation of Indian art and culture.

The PEM started collecting Indian art in late 18th century. Among its most stunning pieces of art are those from the renowned Chester & Davida Herwitz collection of contemporary Indian art. The Harmony Art Foundation has also lent it three works by contemporary Indian art masters, namely F.N. Souza's ‘Birth’, Paritosh Sen's ‘Ahmedabad Scene’ and Anish Kapoor's ‘Halo’, as part of its annual festival of Indian art & culture. The PEM recently hosted a collection of ‘Traditional Art from India’.

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