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.
The exhibition displays miniature garments inspired from ceremonial and everyday attires of the Maharajas of India from 1850-1950s. Textile artist, Geeta Khandelwal has created these attires including angarkhas, jamas, choghas, and sherwanis in miniature forms referenced from the publication, ‘Indian Costumes in the Collection of the Calico Museum of Textiles’ by B. N. Goswamy and Kalyan Krishna. The book features original full sized costumes that are on display in the collection of the Calico Museum, Ahmedabad.
Geeta Khandelwal has worked for over three years to create an exclusive collection of miniature classic costumes. The pieces have been mostly hand-stitched with great attention to detail using techniques such as pattern-making, cutting, hand sewing, quilting, hemming, piping and adding knob buttons, tassels and embellishments.
This collection reflects the great diversity of Indian fabrics in use since the 19th century, from fine silks and brocades of Benaras, hand block prints of Rajasthan, fine muslin of Bengal, woolen Jamdanis of Kashmir, and Chikankari embroideries from Lucknow.
Geeta Khandewal is a skilled textile artist from Mumbai who has been passionately involved in quilt-making for over four decades. She has participated in many quilt exhibitions around the world including the Houston Quilt Festival, USA in 1985 and the Patchwork Quilt Festival of Alsace, France.
by Lim Tze Peng