Artworks by several Indian masters such as MF Husain, Raza, Ara and B Prabha, owned by India’s national carrier Air India are housed in its offices spread across the country. They have now been thoughtfully compiled for a curated display for the first time. The exhibition is a part of its brand building exercise. A PTI report details the efforts and thoughts behind the exhibition as follows:
- This is the first time an exhibition of the artworks, some of them which are worth several lakhs, and some even going into the crore bracket, is being held. ‘Air India salutes Indian Masters’, comprising oil paintings, watercolors, works on glass and wood, a few miniatures as well as a few sculptures, has been curated by NGMA Director Rajeev Lochan.
- Select works from the airline's huge art collection are showcased at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in the exhibition that runs till September 1. "A total of 67 pieces from Air India's collection is being exhibited at the Gallery. The artworks have been sourced from different offices located all across the country. Prominent artists like Husain, Ara, Raza, Prabha, are all featured," Air India Commercial Director Deepak Brara was quoted as saying in the PTI news report.
- "The purpose of Air India's exhibition is purely a brand building exercise. The airline has had a large collection of art for a long time, which it would like to share it with art lovers,” the official said, adding that the total value of the artworks, some of which are displayed in the offices of senior managers in Delhi and Mumbai, is not available because there has been no formal evaluation process.
- While a bulk of the airline's collection is displayed in Mumbai, some of the artworks are also in Air India offices in New York, Washington, Perth, Rome, Tokyo, Paris, and London. The airline which struggled with its finances and recently received financial support from the government, however, has no plans to use the artworks to raise funds.