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.


Connecting Threads: Textiles in Contemporary Practice

DEC 2, 2018 - FEB 17, 2019

Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta & Puja Vaish

Participating Artists: Anita Dube, Anju Dodiya, Archana Hande, Desmond Lazaro, Lavanya Mani, Manish Nai, Manisha Parekh, Monali Meher, Nilima Sheikh, Paula Sengupta, Priya Ravish Mehra, Pushpamala N, Rakhi Peswani, Reena Saini Kallat, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Sharmila Samant, Shezad Dawood

The exhibition attempts to trace textile practices, traditions and histories in Contemporary Indian Art. As a medium textile, has an intrinsic meaning and context. The material’s history, its modes of production and its function as a cultural object inform its use in contemporary art practice. Textiles, both as practice and form are inextricably linked to complex histories of legitimation and hegemony, colonial trade, industry, and the freedom movement. Textiles define culture through the relationship between body, cloth, selfhood, attires, identities and fashion.

Juxtaposed with the Museum’s textile collection, the exhibition re-looks at the narratives invoked through a range of artworks. It showcases many forms of artistic practice that have approached the process of art-making by engaging ‘craft’ and ‘traditional’ practices, to address contemporary concerns.

Spectral Times
Sarnath Banerjee

Feb 23, 2019 - May 14, 2019

Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, Director, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum


Swimmer’s Manual and Other Stories

APR 8, 2018 - MAY 11, 2018