exhibitions programmes courses shop send date

Dear Friends,

The Museum is pleased to launch its e-newsletter which gives you a glimpse of our activities and exciting upcoming events. We opened in 2008 after a 5 year restoration which won Unesco’s highest award of Excellence for Cultural Conservation. This is an exciting moment for us, as important partnerships and projects fructify, after the challenges of building the Museum's infrastructure. We wanted to share our enthusiasm and adventure with you so we take you behind the scenes to give you a feel of the Museum's pulse. This initiative builds on our efforts to reach out and engage the community in enlivening ways. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you more often. And we hope that you will become a friend of the Museum.
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
Managing Trustee and Honorary Director

Sudhir Patwardhan, Lower Parel, 2001, painting on canvas

Social fabric

September–November 2012 | In collaboration with Iniva (the Institute of International Visual Arts), London

Textiles conjure images of splendour and richness. They are an intrinsic part of our lives and yet few stop to think about how the final product has been achieved or about the lives of the hundreds of craftsmen who work the looms. The exhibition Social Fabric showcases both the extraordinary beauty of the craft and explores the darker interstices of the textile trade, tracing the history from its early colonial days to the struggle for livelihood and self-determination that defined the textile trade union movement in Mumbai. The exhibition has a particular resonance at the Museum not only because it is located near the erstwhile Mills, but also because many of the dioramas and models depicted in the Kamalnayan Bajaj Mumbai Gallery showcase the life and culture of the people referred to in the exhibition. There are dioramas of the earliest mills in Mumbai, of the first chawls, of a textile weaver’s hut, and clay models demonstrating the various processes of making and embellishing textiles. On view are examples from the Museum's 'Collections of the Textile Manufactures of India' by Dr Forbes Watson. The Collection spans 18 volumes, documenting different Indian textile traditions. It offers visitors a rare opportunity to view the Collection at close quarters. Works by well known artists Sudhir Patwardhan, Archana Hande, Alice Creischer and Celine Condorelli further explore the many facets of the textile industry and offer the viewer a moment of contemplation and insight into the forces that shape and exploit our lives and our environment.


Curated by Grant Watson and Tasneem Zakaria Mehta

The exhibition will be on view from September 23 - November 11, 2012
Supported by the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai

Ranjani Shettar

At the Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibitions Gallery

December 1, 2012 - February 17, 2013

The Museum is delighted to announce an exhibition by Bangalore based artist Ranjani Shettar. Large yet delicate sculptural installations give imaginative form to natural phenomena as diverse and unique as the interaction of light and water, the luminescence of fireflies and the kinetic response of plants to sunlight. Shettar’s use of evocative titles such as Heliotropes, Scent of a Sound, or Sun-sneezers, allow us to interpret the essence of her work, created using handmade and industrial processes from a range of natural and manmade materials. Her works reference the intersection of the natural and the material worlds and recall the interface of art and science which was one of the founding ideas of the Museum. The show is a continuation of the series Engaging Traditions curated by Museum Director, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta. Shettar’s work is in the collection of important international and Indian museums. This is her first major show in Mumbai.

Supported by the Talwar Gallery, New York / New Delhi

Ranjani Shettar, title: TBD, wood from coffee trees and automobile paint
Courtesy of the Artist and Talwar Gallery, New York / New Delhi

Guggenheim Lab

At the Museum Plaza

December 9, 2012 - January 20, 2013

The BMW Guggenheim Lab,
a combination think tank, community center and public gathering space, will arrive in Mumbai later this year, where it will be presented in collaboration with the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. A joint initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the BMW Group, the BMW Guggenheim Lab is traveling to major cities around the world to inspire public dialogue about issues of contemporary life. Led by international, interdisciplinary teams of emerging and established talents in the areas
of urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability,
the Lab offers free, participatory programs, projects, and workshops as well as a website and online social communities that invite people from around
the world to join the conversation.

Centrally located at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, with satellite locations in different communities and geographic areas of the city, the Mumbai
Lab will be the third stop for the project, which launched in New York in August 2011 and subsequently operated in Berlin
in the summer of 2012.

For more information, visit bmwguggenheimlab.org

Dialogues of Materiality

At the Special Project Space (SPS)

Nature Morte (in collaboration with Seven Art Ltd.)

December 2 - 25, 2012

The Museum's Special Project Space, developed as part of the new cultural hub in our rear garden, will open in December with an exhibition from Gallery Nature Morte, featuring works by artist Asim Waqif, amongst others. Waqif’s recent projects attempt a crossover between architecture, art and design, with a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban design and the politics of public spaces. Some of his projects have been developed within abandoned and derelict buildings in the city that act as hidden spaces for marginalized people. Concerns of ecology and anthropology weave through his work and he has done extensive research on vernacular systems of ecological management, especially with respect to water, waste and architecture. His artworks often employ manual processes that
are deliberately laborious while the products themselves are usually temporary and sometimes even designed to decay, reflecting his engagement with questions of sustainability and the complimentary use of traditional and modern technologies.

BDL (Venu), 2011, bamboo, rope, electronics for interactivity

Courtesy Seven Art Limited,
New Delhi
Supported by Creative India Foundation

“[The Museum] team have done exemplary and wonderful service to all of us. It should be an inspiration to others to preserve our heritage with love, pride and devotion.”
Kumari Selja, Hon. Minister for Culture, Government of India

New Space

The Museum has created a unique new cultural hub in its rear garden. The original Museum storage cottage and workshop space were housed in two quintessential 19th century cottages which were surrounded by lush vegetation and trees, with a large plaza. The cottages and plaza have been restored. The spaces have been adapted to accommodate exhibitions and the performing arts, as well as a café, a shop, a space for public sculpture, artist workshops, an audio visual centre cum lecture room. The space is expected to be ready by December 1st 2012. The Municipal Corporation and the Museum Board have approved a major expansion plan that envisions adding a 50,000 sq feet new building with state of the art facilities for exhibitions, storage, conservation and education in an adjacent plot. An international architectural competition will be held and the project is expected to start in 2013.

New Acquisition

The Museum is delighted to announce its acquisition of 43 exquisite small-format gouache works by early 20th century J.J. School artists such as Keshav Phadke, Kamalakant Save and Cecil L. Burns, well-known Principal of the School of Art from 1899 -1918 and Curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay. These works are illustrative of the revivalist, ‘Indian Renaissance’ art movement of the time, which drew inspiration from classical Indian art practices, specifically,
in this case, the earlier tradition
of Rajput painting. The works offer valuable insights into the
J.J. School’s formative period
and the beginnings of Indian modernism, complementing the Museum’s permanent collection of decorative objects and paintings made by students of the J.J. School of Art.

Subhadra Anandkar, Untitled, 1950, Gouache on card

CAS at the Museum

The Museum has partnered with IB schools in the city in an exciting, one of its kind, project giving students the opportunity to work with us as part of the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) module. Over the course of the academic year 2012-13, students will engage with the Museum’s collections, audiences and activities, as well as conceptualize, develop and execute their own individual projects. The IB students will be engaged in assisting with the Museum’s workshops for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through sustained engagement, the Museum aims to further develop and diversify its target audience, bringing teenagers into the cultural space of the Museum - as advisors, volunteers, and active participants in its programmes.

“A beautiful re-assertion of the ageless alliance of beauty and progress. Rarely do we see so powerful a re-connection of original intention with the present. For me, a true world monument.”
With admiration - Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York
Installation details of Tallur’s ATM (anger therapy machine), 2011 (left) and detail of 0+0 = 0-0, 2011 (right)


The Museum is pleased to announce that L.N. Tallur’s Quintessential, displayed at the Museum from December 2011 to February 2012, has been nominated for the prestigious Skoda Prize 2012. The Prize spotlights the most exciting developments in Indian contemporary art.

Learn More

MCIAH Post-Graduate
Diploma Course

The first in India, a 1-year Post Graduate Diploma in Modern and Contemporary Indian Art History, 1850 to the Present, was launched in January. 20 full-time and 8 audit students are instructed by an eminent faculty. The course encourages new readings of Indian Modern and Contemporary Art locating it within a historical, sociological, political and international context.The course includes an intensive summer component on International Modern and Contemporary Art taught by international faculty. Audit students can take a bouquet of 5, 10 or 20 segments.

Applications are now being accepted for the next year beginning January 2013. Deadline: November 1, 2012.

Learn More

Children’s Workshops

The Museum continued its educational workshops programme. Initiated in 2009
to give school children an opportunity to engage with the city's history, culture and contemporary art through the Museum’s collections and special exhibitions, the workshops comprise interactive discussions, worksheets and craft activities. Children are introduced to a variety of art forms and socio-cultural themes through different readings of the collections and the special exhibitions.

Children from private schools, NGOs and BMC school children under the Teach for India programme, participated in workshops based on the exhibition Sightseeing Trip, Eberhard Havekost in India. They discussed urban issues highlighted in the works.

Learn More

Heritage Clubs

A Teacher Training Workshop, held on 17th January to create heritage awareness in schools through the establishment of Heritage Clubs, was organised by INTACH in collaboration with the Museum. Teachers from 16 schools participated in the workshop. Practical ways to integrate heritage education within the mainstream curriculum was demonstrated. INTACH currently has a nationwide network of over 50,000 students in 1200 schools across 61 cities. INTACH Mumbai has 20 schools who are members of our heritage club. Special activities are organized for participating schools.

Learn More
"What you have achieved here deserves admiration and respect. You contribute highly to education, conservation and culture. I very much look forward to developing our ties."
Francois Richier, Ambassador de France

Dutch Manuscript

The Museum has one of the finest libraries on Mumbai's history. The manuscript 'A True and Exact Description of the Most Celebrated East - India Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel as also of the Isle of Ceylon’ is written by Dutch missionary, Philip Baldaeus, in 1672. It is the oldest book in the Museum’s collection. The publication, which is illustrated with exquisite sketches and maps, documents the rising Dutch presence in the subcontinent. Baldaeus travels through the coasts of Malabar, Coromandel and Ceylon in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, and, his descriptions of the art, architecture, landscape and history of the areas, displays an infectious fascination with Hindu mythology and culture. The work was published to provide readers with an accurate account, against previous, misleading reports of the ‘exotic colonies’. Of particular note are the land and sea views of Bombay fort in the opening pages of the book. Similar maps and models are on permanent display in the Origins of Mumbai Gallery at the Museum. The book has been restored by INTACH and is the process of being digitised so that it can be
made available for research.

"It was an enriching experience to visit this beautiful museum which showcases most effectively the proverbial diversity of India and its plural cultural identity. An institution every Mumbaikar and every Indian can feel proud of."
S.Y. Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India

IEARN Workshop on Museums

The Indian-European Advanced Research Network, IEARN, headed by Sunil Khilnani director of the India Centre at Kings College, London in collaboration with Jyotindra Jain and Kavita Singh professors at JNU's School of Arts and Aesthetics, organised a two day workshop on museums which was attended by international and Indian museum directors and museum scholars from across the globe. Participants included Neil McGreggor of the British Museum, James Cuno, President of the Getty and several directors of the Getty institutions, Martin Roth, of the V&A, London, Rakhi Sarkar of KMOMA in Kolkata, Robina Karode of the Kiran Nadar Museum and Tasneem Zakaria Mehta from the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum among others. The discussions focussed on four aspects of Museum Development: Collecting, Giving, Ownership vs Custodianship and Museum Effect.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

As a Trustee for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012,
Ms. Mehta visited Kochi
to review the site. The first edition of the Biennale to be held in December 2012 will showcase a strong representation of Indian and international artists, and a rich programme of educational
activities, talks, seminars, screenings, music, and workshops
focusing on school children and students of all ages. The Biennale aims to provide a platform for contemporary international visual art theory and practice, new Indian and international aesthetics and art experiences, and to foster dialogue among artists, curators, and the public. Approximately 40 Indian and 40 international artists will be showing work that includes mixed media and installation, video, sculpture and painting. The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum will support a project by artist L.N. Tallur at the Biennale.

MoMA International Council

Ms. Mehta has been invited by
the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York to join their International Council. The first meeting took place in Istanbul in June 2012. The International Council of the MoMA consists of patrons and experts from around the world. It meets twice a year and supports exhibitions at the MoMA as well as contemporary art initiatives and collaborations between MoMA and international museums. Meetings typically consist of an intensive week exploring the art and culture of a particular country or city. One of the highlights of the meeting in Istanbul was a personal tour and interaction with Orhan Pamuk who has set up a Museum inspired by his acclaimed novel, The Museum of Innocence. The Museum is an extraordinary cross between a fictionalized personal history, a contemporary ethnographic collection and a unique site specific installation.

Photo © Geoff Sills

A puppet-making kit inspired by the Museum’s clay model of a Koli couple

Museum Shop

The Museum has developed a range of products inspired by its unique architecture and collections. The Museum Shop supports master craftsmen to promote Indian design and the techniques reflect many of the master works represented in the Museum's collection. The most popular item is the Museum bag which shows the splendid Neo-Rennaisance building. It is now available in a new design which takes inspiration from the Museum’s collection. Mugs depicting objects from the Museum’s collection and t-shirts depicting elements of the Museum’s architecture are also on sale in the Shop.

Learn More

Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, along with Amin Jaffer, International Director of Asian Art, Christie’s, senior staff and twelve patrons visited the Museum on 19th January. Plans for future collaborations between the two Museums were discussed.

Other distinguished visitors to the Museum included -

Kabir Bedi, Actor

Peter Burleigh, Former U.S. Chargé /Ambassador to India

Massimiliano Gioni, Associate Director, New Museum, New York

Anthony Korner, Art Forum International, New York

Henri Loyrette, President, Louvre Museum, Paris

Cord Meier-Klodt, German Chargé d'Affaires

Klaus Peter Murawski, Mayor of the city of Stuttgart, Germany

Annie Philbin, Director, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Nancy Powell, US Ambassador to India

Alice Prochaska (Principal), Somerville College, Oxford, UK

S.Y. Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India

François Richier, Ambassador de France

Kumari Selja, Hon. Minister for Culture, Government of India

Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institute & former Deputy Secretary of State (1994-2001), USA

Dirk Vermaelen, Exhibitions Director, Europalia International

Arts Festival

"This is my first visit to such a marvelous museum in Mumbai. I would like to thank you and look forward to future collaborations."
Henri Loryette, President, Louvre Museum, Paris

Curator Grant Watszon (Iniva) on installing Social Fabric

Working on Social Fabric at the Museum was a great experience. First the context of the Museum with its collection themed around the city of Mumbai and its proximity to the mill area of Lower Parel, provides the perfect context for the exhibition, and elements of the collection were incorporated into the show by the Museum’s director. The team really pulled together to make sure that the show was installed to the highest standards and notwithstanding the work being stuck in customs and the Ganpati festival, we managed to get
the exhibition up in two momentous 16 hour days.

The team of curators brought their efficiency and specialist knowledge to, for example, the complicated installation by Alice Criescher as well as the archival material, which needed special preparation. The major structural elements were handled brilliantly despite the demands of the building and its particular architecture.
It was interesting to see how members of the technical team who live or grew up in the area and have family connections to the mills could identify things which were familiar to them in the painting by Sudhir Patwardhan
and the photographs of Lower Parel displayed nearby.


An Institution of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai | Supported by the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation
Restored by INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage

To ensure you receive our e-newsletter, make sure you add subscribe@bdlmuseum.org to your address book.

Design by: Radhika Chopra | Developed by : Pi Techniques