The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is on an expansion spree, with new centres soon coming up in Kolkata and Northeast. Funds have also been granted for the facelift of existing centres in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The new centres of NGMA, with its headquarters in Delhi, will be built along the lines of its Mumbai and Bangalore branches. While space for the Northeast centre is still being finalised, the Kolkata centre is most likely to come up in the historic Library Building near Governor’s House.
“The Centre has offered us the heritage building, which is currently under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The NGMA in Kolkata should be ready by December 2018,” said NGMA director general Adwaita Gadanayak said. The NGMA has been offered a couple of other choices of heritage buildings in the vicinity. Gadanayak said he will visit Kolkata later this week to finalise the space, so that the Rs 4-crore project could take off soon.
An official said that when an ASI-protected building is offered to an organisation, it has to be ensured that no structural changes are made. “We are planning to go for an artificial layering so that works could be mounted without harming the walls. Also, work will have to be carried out to install air-conditioners so that the humid weather doesn’t spoil the artwork,” Gadanayak said.
On the other hand, the centre in Northeast may take little longer, since the Centre doesn’t have any suitable building to offer in the region. “So, though we have the funds ready, we have to wait for one of the state governments in the Northeast to come on board and offer us space,” said an official from the Union culture ministry, under whose purview the NGMA falls.
Meanwhile, the ministry has okayed funds for the renovation of NGMA’s existing centres in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. While a new auditorium will come up in Bangalore, the organisation is looking to expand its Mumbai building, as the current one has been found unsuitable to hold major art exhibitions.
“We also plan to start a fortnightly ‘Art Adda’ at NGMA Mumbai since at present, most artists get together at Jehangir Art Gallery only. Also, we are in talks with the Cafe Samovar to start operations at NGMA, as the legendary eatery at Jehangir was shut in 2015,” said Gadanayak. The NGMA has completed 63 years of its establishment. Established at the iconic Jaipur House building in Delhi, it was the first national institute dedicated to arts. In the years to come, Delhi was to get a national museum as well as a national theatre school. NGMA’s Mumbai centre was inaugurated in 1996 while the Bangalore centre came up in 2009.