Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum
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Director's Desk

Prof. Ratan Parimoo

Director - L.D. Museum and N.C. Mehta Gallery

Ratan Parimoo, from M.S. University of Baroda, where he has taught for 34 years, served as Head of the Department of Art History and Aesthetics (1966-91) and as Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts (1975-81). Among his numerous publications are Paintings of the Three Tagores (1973) , republished in expanded version as Art of Three Tagores: From Revival to Modernity (2010), and Historical Development of Contemporary Indian Art (2009). Since 2007, he has been as the Director of with the L.D. Museum and N.C. Mehta Gallery, Ahmedabad. He has authored Catalogue Raisonnè (Critical Catalogue as book), the N.C. Mehta Collection Vol.I, Gujarati School and Jaina Manuscript Paintings in 2010, and Vol.II, Rajasthani, Central Indian, Pahari and Mughal Paintings, in 2013.

Director's Message

Visitors who discover the Indian art collections of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum for the first time have often confessed that it has been a great surprise for them as well as an enrichening experience. They feel proud that such a museum has been maintained in Ahmedabad with comprehensive material covering sculpture styles from different regions of India including Gujarat through 2nd century B.C. to around 16th century A.D. as displayed in the Madhuri D. Desai Gallery.

Similarly the coverage of the art of Indian painting is so comprehensive spanning (more than six centuries), when one observes the range of Jaina Manuscript paintings and cosmological paintings from the Muni Punyavijayaji collection together with the Kasturbhai Lalbhai collection of Indian drawings and the exquisite miniature paintings of various schools from the N.C. Mehta collection. L.D. Museum also has the only permanent gallery of Indian Coinage in the Gujarat State. Such a prestigious range of exhibits has been possible through the permanent gifts given by many generous art collectors of Gujarat. The other privilege of the L.D. Museum is its grandiose building designed by the internationally renowned architect Shri Balkrishna Doshi. This is an open appeal to all art lovers and art collectors of Ahmedabad to come forward and give generously art objects as permanent gifts so that the collections are expanded and L.D. Museum achieves the stature of the principal museum of the metropolitan city of Ahmedabad, and Gujarat state, like the status that the magnificent Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrhalaya of Mumbai has achieved vis-à-vis Maharashtra State.

Director's Vision

The Reorganization Plan from 2012 onwards

Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum during the last half a century has grown into one of the finest museums of Indian Art and Coinage in Gujarat as well as of the country. As the enclosed Time-Line shows, it is an achievement of art connoisseurship and munificence of a few Gujarāti individuals, most of whom are related to one industrialist family and inspired by a Jaina Āchārya. They were motivated by the urge to preserve the heritage and the desire to inculcate aesthetic sensibility and values among the people of the country in general and citizens of Ahmedabad in particular. Within the principal city of Gujarat, L.D. Museum is like a state museum next only to the very specialized Calico Museum of Textiles. Its foundation was laid with the setting up of Muni Punyavijayaji Collection of predominantly Jaina art (paintings and sculptures) in the new building of the L.D. Institute of Indology in 1963. With the donation of Smt. Madhuri Desai Collection of high quality sculptures ranging from different periods (from 2nd century onwards), the decision was taken by the eminent industrialist Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai, to construct a new building. The internationally known Ahmedabad based architect, Shri Balkrishna Doshi designed the museum building, which was inaugurated in 1984 with two designated galleries, Smt. Madhuri Desai Gallery, ground floor and Muni Punyavijayaji Gallery, first floor. Initially the coins were displayed as a special temporary exhibition, but since 2004 it constitutes the third gallery. While the display of Kasturbhai Collection of Indian drawings is at the initial stages, the few important bronze pieces of Arvindbhai collection have been incorporated within the Smt. Madhuri Desai Collection of Indian Sculptures.

So far the focus of the Museum has remained on presenting the achievement of the hoary tradition of Indian sculptures and bronzes and also Indian paintings, particularly of Jaina subjects matter most of which are painted in Gujarat and Rajasthan. We are happy to announce that our Museum was selected in April 2012 for a substantial Financial Assistance programme by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi. With 50% of the Financial Assistance already received from the Ministry of Culture, the unfinished new 1st floor gallery has become operational and we are able to create a completely re-conceptualized and expanded Gallery of History of Coinage. The Gallery of Coinage enables to offer material evidences to support historical chronology of different ruling dynasties. It indirectly supplements the Gallery of Indian Sculptures. The display of the Gallery is conceptualized in such a manner that it aims at attracting the students of Commerce and Management. It covers varied specimens of "Currency from 5th century B.C. up to the 20th century". The gift of a set of beautiful bead work items from Saurashtra by Shri Mahesh Pandya, a citizen of Ahmedabad, will enable us to have a display of Gujarat Handicrafts.

Another popular section we expect to complete is the re-arranged display of Wood Carving panels and parts of domestic wooden architecture. Space is now available on the existing 1st floor to organize a representative display of about 50 selected high quality drawings of the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Collection. The beautiful gems of Indian miniature paintings in the N.C. Mehta collection are looked after by the L.D. Museum. The three collections combined together, viz., N.C. Mehta, Muni Punyavijayaji and Kasturbhai Lalbhai, make one of the most comprehensive collections of Indian-Paintings in the world in Ahmedabad.

We are happy to inform that the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, has conceded to our request and have recognized L.D. Museum, Ahmedabad, as the befitting museum to receive long term loan of sculptures, which are preserved in special storages near the important sites. Recently after negotiations with the officers of the Vadodara circle of ASI, we have been informed that the Director General has agreed in principle to give us selected sculptures from the historically famous Gujarat sites of Modhera, Patan and Kayavarohana (Kārvaṇa), as part of 150 years celebration of the ASI. These sculptures will be displayed in the space now available after renovation of the 1st floor hall of the new wing. We have also communicated with the Hon. Minister of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi. This new gallery of specific site sculptures from Gujarat will strengthen our over-all sculpture collection (along with existing sculpture collection on display, i.e., Smt. Madhuri Desai Gallery). We expect to have additional bronze objects also in this space.

After we are able to implement the abovementioned re-organization of the galleries, we feel L.D. Museum together with N.C. Mehta Gallery should be given recognition of not only National level museum (Institution of National importance), but also status of Metro museum just as, are recognized the Indian Museum, Kolkata; Government Museum, Chennai and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai. I invite distinguished citizens and Art Lovers of Gujarat and Ahmedabad in particular, to join this venture by donating art objects in order to enrich the L.D. Museum Collections, so that it can claim to be the pride of Gujarat and achieve such a stature as Prince of Wales Museum is to Mumbai in Maharashtra.

Prof. Ratan Parimoo
Director - L.D. Museum and N.C. Mehta Gallery

Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum
Nr. Gujarat University, Navarangpura
hmedabad - 380009 Gujarat, INDIA
Phone : +91-79-26306883
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Last updated - 08 Auguest 2018
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