History Of The Jehangir Art Gallery In 1 Minute

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Sridevi Nambiar

Lodged in the historic Kala Ghoda neighborhood of South Mumbai is the Jehangir Art Gallery, one of Mumbai’s premier and oldest art institutions. The landmark gallery has hosted exhibitions by India’s leading artists, and has continually served as a prestigious platform for budding students since its establishment in 1952.
The Jehangir Art Gallery was founded with donations given by Sir Cowasji Jehangir, 2nd Baronet, at a time when Mumbai had few institutions to promote its indigenous artists. The gallery, named after Sir Coswaji’s late son, Jehangir, became a regular haunt of many aspiring and struggling artists soon after its inauguration in 1952 by then-Chief Minister, Mr. B.G. Kher. Frequenters of the gallery included the likes of M.F. Husain and S.H. Raza – artists who spearheaded India’s contemporary arts movement.

Jehangir’s establishment in Kala Ghoda contributed to the neighborhood’s evolution as a center for arts and culture. With the National Gallery of Modern Arts, The Arts Trust, numerous art galleries, pavement art stalls, designer boutiques and cafés playing second home to artists from the city, Kala Ghoda is dubbed the ‘art district’ of Mumbai today. It is also home to the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, one of Mumbai’s liveliest arts and culture festivals.

Jehangir Art Gallery in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai’s ‘Art District’

Today, the gallery includes four primary halls equipped to exhibit different mediums of visual arts – an Auditorium hall, an Exhibition Gallery, the Hirji Jehangir Gallery and the Terrace Art Gallery for Photography and Visual Art. The Gallery hosts over 300 shows a year, and even sponsors an annual exhibition called the Monsoon Art Show to showcase work of emerging local artists. Exhibition slots at the gallery are extremely competitive, with artists being required to apply at least a year in advance.

Over the years, the gallery has hosted exhibitions by India’s most influential artists, including A. Ramachandran, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, M.F. Husain, Anjolie Ela Menon, S.K. Bakre, S.H. Raza, K.G. Subramanyan and K.K. Hebbar. Just as the gallery served as a platform to inspire and support many of these artists, the Jehangir Art Gallery still remains at the forefront of institutions that promote local artists and students. Still a regular haunt of art students and budding artists, the gallery’s surrounding pavements – where artists from around the country display their work – are testament to the importance of the place in India’s arts scene.

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