National Gallery of Modern Art
On the weekend, NGMA launched a virtual tour of its permanent collection. The showcase features several masterpieces and recognised works by Indian artists, including Amrita Sher-Gil’s Bride’s Toilet and Self Portrait (7), Jamini Roy’s Mother and Child and Santhal Dance, and Rabindranath Tagore’s Lady With Flowers. The collection is also divided according to the medium and the period. If the ’60s has been described as a time when “artists actively entered into a dialogue with traditional visual language and reinvented their own contexts”, in the ’70s, artists located “the mythic into a world of memory”. We are introduced to the prominent art collectives of India, and also the British portrait painters and miniaturists who travelled to India, including Thomas Daniell and Emily Eden.
Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Visit the permanent collection of Mumbai’s oldest museum from the comfort of your couch. Its highlights are on view on Google Arts & Culture. One can go through the 19th century fine and decorative arts that highlight art practices in the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, along with dioramas, maps, lithographs and photographs. Rare books document the life and times from the late 18th to early 20th century. The popular miniature clay models from the early 1900s present the varied businesses and commercial enterprises of the city. Exhibitions curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, director of BDLM, have artists responding to the museum’s collection, history and archives. While Sudarshan Shetty’s works question the premise of the “museum, its existence and the aura of authority it exudes”, Atul Dodiya engages “in a layered dialogue with various objects from the museum’s collection”.
The National Museum in Delhi is sharing its latest exhibition ‘The Great Steppe: Time. Space. Culture’ online. Organised in collaboration with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in India and National Museum, Kazakhstan, the exhibition displays archaeological findings from different parts of Kazakhstan, including Saki barrows Taksay (in West Kazakhstan) and Berel (in the East). The other online exhibitions curated by the museum include ‘Art of Calligraphy’, featuring Arabic and Persian inscriptions on objects, ‘Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan’, which celebrates the composite cultures of the Deccani Sultanates, from the 15th to 18th century, and ‘Pottery from Ancient Peru’. Select books can also be downloaded from the website, including Life in Harappan Civilization and Birds and Animals in Indian Art.
Victoria Memorial Hall
The museum is sharing its collection through several slide shows. While one section has works by Abanindranath Tagore, another slide show features works by his brother Gaganendranath. Yet another section has works by Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell, who travelled across India and documented its landscapes, buildings and people, from 1786 to 1793. Google Arts & Culture also allows visitors to explore the exteriors and interiors of the museum. A section titled ‘India’ includes Abanindranath’s iconic Bharatmata, and another section celebrates the building in marble envisaged by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
While select photographs from different sections of its collection are on the museum website, the highlights are the four digital exhibitions curated in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. ‘Hamsafar — The Companion’ looks at the story of Indian textiles through sculptures, paintings from the Ajanta caves, cloth pieces, folios from manuscripts and photographs. Another exhibition presents ‘15 Variations on the Sari: India’s Iconic Drape’. ‘Animal in Indian Art’ probes the various approaches used to depict fauna in sculptures, artefacts and paintings. Another collection gives an insight into the Natural History section of the museum. It features several mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes. Most of the specimens were collected by well-known ornithologist Salim Ali and mammalogist SH Prater.