An extensive exhibitions programme includes a strong focus on contemporary art.  A series of curated exhibitions titled 'Engaging Traditions', invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives. These exhibitions are presented in the Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibitions Gallery (KBG) in the main Museum building and may involve interventions into the vitrines holding the permanent collections. The Museum also hosts exhibitions in collaboration with galleries and other institutions in the Special Project Space (SPS) in the Museum Plaza. The Museum has successfully partnered with international museums and institutions to showcase contemporary artists and exhibitions which relate to the Museum’s permanent collection.

A series of curated exhibitions titled 'Engaging Traditions', invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives, addressing issues that speak directly to the traditions and issues that underlie the founding of the Museum, yet evoke the present by challenging orthodoxies and questioning assumptions. Several distinguished contemporary artists including Jitish Kallat, Sudarshan Shetty, L.N. Tallur and Ranjini Shettar have participated in this programme.

Through collaborations with international institutes, the Museum has hosted several exhibitions. Contemporary Photography and the Olympic Posters were presented from the V&A Museum, London.  German artist Eberhard Havekost's works were presented in collaboration with the Dresden State Art Collections and the exhibition Social Fabric was showcased with INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts) London, and the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai. The Museum collaborated with the Guggenheim Museum, New York, to present the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai,and the Ermenegildo Zegna group on the project ZegnArt Public in 2013.  Most recently, the Museum hosted an acclaimed masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s (Italian, 1378-1455) The Gates of Paradise (1425-52), through a special collaboration with the Guild of the Dome Association, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institute, and the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. Folk Archive, a vibrant, visual account of contemporary popular British culture was held in collaboration with the British Council.


A Question of Perspective: Early 20th Century Landscape Painting in Western India


Curated by Shukla Sawant

'A Question of Perspective: Early 20th Century Landscape Painting in Western India' proposes to highlight some key aesthetic, social and political issues that led to the emergence of a new aesthetic genre, shaping the romantic form of landscape painting in Western India, in first half of the 20th century.

Its primary focus is the artworks produced by artists’ who emerged from the social and intellectual world of art institutions such as Sir J. J. School of Art, formerly known as Bombay School of Art, and the subsequent proliferation of art hubs and societies such as the Bombay Art Society, the Art Society of India etc. The exhibition will also highlight the importance of princely states like Aundh and Kolhapur in the emergence of this genre. In early twentieth century, a number of unique exercises were undertaken to work out ideas of collective institution building, modalities of exhibition making and the role of art journalism in engendering a critically engaged audience. It will track the work of artists like Abalal Rahiman, Dhurandhar, Dhond etc. who destabilized and de-centered genre of landscape painting that had emerged in the colonial era and had its antecedents in various forms of aesthetic as well as power discourses — primarily connected to surveillance and mapping.

Autobiography as Memory

MAR 10, 2017 - APR 4, 2017

In collaboration with Focus Photography Festival

Culled from an international Call for entries, this flagship exhibition of FOCUS Photography Festival presents the work of photographers from around the world.

Before Now, Then: Picturing Loss in Photography from Japan

MAR 10, 2017 - APR 4, 2017

Focus Photography Festival at the Museum Plaza

Two Japanese photographers, Yuki Iwanami and Kota Kishi, revisit the subject of catastrophe and erasure through a panorama of emotion, fiction and debris.

Possible Futures

DEC 3, 2016 - FEB 28, 2017

By Marie Velardi

In collaboration with Swiss Arts Council ProHelvetia at the Special Project Space

Marie Velardi employs fact and fiction, to both imagine and question the future. Her work closely examines movements of the earth, such as the continuous shift between land and sea, as seen in the work titled ‘Terre-Mer’, or Sea-Land. Pages of a hypothetical Book of Possible Futures, with a series of watercolor drawings named ‘Temporal Maps’ includes short texts in English and Marathi, inspired by discussions with Indian women on their hopes for the future.