Updated: May 18, 2022 6:24:06 pm
For the last 25 years, Ajit Gadgil, founder of P N Gadgil & Sons jewellers, has been carefully collecting a range of jewellery, paintings, sculptures, textiles, lamps and other artefacts. From rare works of MF Hussain, Raja Ravi Verma and Jamini Roy to exquisite silver pieces, old vinyl records, vintage movie posters and advertisements, Gadgil has amassed them all.
And now his collection has been made into a museum of art and culture. Spread across eight acres next to the scenic Khadakwasla backwaters at Kudje, Zapurza museum will be inaugurated by flute maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia on May 19 (Thursday) and will be open for public viewing later this week.
“The collection stems from the passion I got from doing what I do. Your perspective on how you look at things changes when art runs in the family. I wanted to come up with a space for the collection where people can come and see the richness of the art our artisans from across the country have to offer and appreciate it,” said Gadgil.
The museum was designed by Kolhapur’s Shirish Beri and constructed in four years. It boasts eight galleries, a merchandise shopping space, an indoor auditorium and an outdoor amphitheatre, overlooking the Khadakwasla backwaters and the Singhad Fort. Each of the galleries will feature an array of Gadgil’s collections – paintings, sculptures, prints, lamps, silver works and textiles. Some of them have been reserved for artists from the city and across Maharashtra.
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“A museum is a very westernised culture that we got after India was colonised. The Zapurza Museum is an attempt to go back to our roots and to present an immersive experience for the people who visit it,” said art curator Raju Sutar.
Sutar said that the gallery dedicated to print will feature a white wall with a black dot like ink on printed papers. Meanwhile, the one showcasing the collection of lamps will begin with a stark ray of white light on black and take the visitors on a journey humans have had with light over the years.
Sutar added that they are planning to bring a range of courses and internship programmes for interested individuals and researchers. “Themes such as art appreciation, art economy, block-printing, Raja Ravi Verma’s technique of oleography, embroidery, theatre, and sound printing will be talked about by invited experts. The residential arrangements here will also allow us to hold camps and workshops for people. We are also planning to reach out to architecture, art and design students who can benefit from such programmes,” he said.
Vinay Narkar, curator and textile designer, said that the textile section of the museum will showcase the state’s traditional Paithani sarees and shelas. “The idea is to bring forth textile art. We have acquired the pieces from private collectors or families with a heritage rich in textiles. Since the pieces are delicate, we have optimised their exposure to light, air and moisture. We are not only preserving the pieces but also bringing back the lost designs, specifically from the Deccan,” he said.
Narkar informed that Zapurza also plans to host its first-ever World Textile Art (WTA) biennale in India in October later this year.
The Zapurza team is planning to provide a shuttle bus system for art enthusiasts from Deccan and Swargate. They also informed that until June 30, the entry for the visitors will be free.
As part of its launch, the Zapurza museum is holding a four-day festival from May 19 to 22. It will have performances by Sandeep Khare, Vaibhav Joshi, violinist Atulkuamr Upadhye, Vijay Ghate and vocalist Rahul Deshpande and theatre acts by Natak Company and the International Association for Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR) team.
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