National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India

The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is the premier art gallery under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The main museum at Jaipur House in New Delhi was established on March 29, 1954 by the Government of India, with subsequent branches at Mumbai and Bangalore. Some of the oldest works preserved here date back to 1857. With 12,000 square meters of exhibition space, the Delhi branch is one of the world’s largest modern art museums.

The museum shows sculptures and pictures mainly of Indian artists. The spectrum ranges from traditional miniature paintings (from the 16th century) to contemporary Indian art. Over 14,000 works by Indian artists such as Thomas Daniell, Prafulla Dahanukar, Raja Ravi Varma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, Dayanita Singh and international artists are exhibited in the museum, apart from sculptures by various artists.

The foremost responsibility of the National Gallery of Modern Art is to ensure quality and to set and maintain standards of excellence. The aesthetic and educational purposes are not only defined in the aims and objectives of the National Gallery of Modern Art, but efforts are also being made so that they become implicit in its organization and pervade all its activities. Above all, the National Gallery of Modern Art helps people to look at the works of modern art with greater joy, understanding and knowledge by extending their relationship with our daily life and experiencing them as vital expressions of the human spirit.

Situated at the end of Rajpath, in the Central Hexagon around the India Gate, the building was a former residential palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur, hence known as Jaipur House. The butterfly-shaped building with a central dome and built in 1936, and designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, after the construction of Lutyens’ Delhi. The Central Hexagon around the India Gate, where the buildings of leading princely states, was itself designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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Though the idea of the National Gallery was floated in 1949, it was formally inaugurated by Vice-president Dr S.Radhakrishnan in 1954, in the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Hermann Goetz (1898–1976), a noted German art historian became its first curator and in time it added new facilities such as Art restoration services, an Art reference Library and a Documentation Centre.

Then in 2009, a new wing of the National Gallery of Modern Art was inaugurated adding almost six times the space to the existing gallery, plus it has a new auditorium, a preview theatre, conservation laboratory, library and academic section as well as a cafeteria and museum shop.

The Bangalore branch is located in the Manikyavelu building on Palace Road. The exhibition shows about 500 works from different fields, including a large collection of contemporary Indian artists.

The principal aims and objectives of the National Gallery of Modern Art art
– To acquire and preserve works of modern art from 1850s onward
– To organize, maintain and develop galleries for permanent display
– To organize special exhibitions not only in its own premises but in other parts of the country and abroad.
– To develop an education and documentation centre in order to acquire, maintain and preserve documents relating to works of modern art
– To develop a specialized library of books, periodicals, photographs and other audio visual materials
– To organize lectures, seminars and conferences, and to encourage higher studies and research in the field of art history, art criticism, art appreciation, museology and the inter-relations on visual and performing arts.

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