Ladies & Gentlemen, It is A Wonderful Evening today as we have
amongst us, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit ji, – our Honble Chief
Minister of Delhi, Ebrahim Alkazi Saheb – Director, Art
Heritage, a number of our distinguished Collectors & Artists;
and our Friends from the Media.
I welcome you all for the launch of this book, which pays homage to
some of the true admirers of Indian Art.
The urge to collect has been a part of human consciousness forever.
Collecting art is a well-known passion and ownership of art in one
form or another, has flourished through centuries as the temples,
churches, mosques and public buildings became abodes of art. Many
Indian Kings & their Kingdoms would have never been so fondly
remembered, but for their patronage of art.
Art collection in the sense in which it is known today, did not
begin in India before our encounter with the west, and thereafter
continued to prosper even in the post-independent era. There was no
single patron to perform this multi-hued function of patronage.
Individuals like Naval Tata, Manu Thacker, Homi & Jamshed
Bhabha, Alkazi Saheb, and many others like them became visionary
benefactors of Indian Art.
This was the time when most of the artists in spite of their
talent, creativity and hard work, didn’t get enough
recognition for their efforts. At this critical juncture, THE
CREATORS and THE ADMIRERS of Indian art, came together & joined
hands. Thus emerged a complimentary team, which took Indian Art
forward to its next level of recognition.
Over the years, a lot of books and printed materials have been
written and published on Indian Art as a subject, its history and on
the artists who have evolved over time.
However, there has never been an effort to recognize the Collectors
of Indian Art. This book salutes the pioneers and is a doorway into
the mystical world of discerning collectors of Modern &
Contemporary Indian Art.
India has emerged as the hub of art renaissance, where patronage,
now also includes a new class of young collectors
Friends, I just remembered a joke of a young collector like me, and
I would like to take the liberty of sharing it with you all.
A young art collector was visiting Louvre, the famous French
Museum. She looked at a painting, and suddenly said, Is this a
dreadful painting or what! I can't believe it, that a respectable
place like this could have such a horrible piece of art in its
Pardon, Madame! one of the staff said, But it's not a painting,
it's a mirror.
Though as a Collector, I am aware of the joys and idiosyncrasies of
collecting art, but the Collectors being profiled in this book are
indeed pioneers and have been instrumental in supporting art for
many years when art was not an asset, but a passion and admiration
In fact they initiated the process of patronage and Collection of
art and due to their contribution over the years, Modern &
Contemporary Indian Art has evolved today into having international
interest, leading to the current buoyancy, that it is enjoying in
the global markets.
We have paid our humble tribute to 27 such Collectors, through this
book, but there are many other passionate Collectors of art, who
wished to remain anonymous, for their personal reasons, though we
thank them for their best wishes.
Ladies & Gentlemen, each book like every piece of art is a
unique story of – a journey & adventure of a particular
dream & an obsession of a particular time.
But, Good art is timeless. I hope this book enriches generations of
readers and leaves them with an abiding interest in Modern and
Contemporary Indian Art.
In the end, I would like to quote a very well known American Art
Collector Peggy Guggenheim who once said -
Today is the age of collecting, not only of creating
Let us at least preserve and present to the masses all the great
treasures we have