Art knows no boundaries. It is infinite in meaning and purpose. India has always been the hub of artworks like rock paintings, sculpture. Our art culture is intertwined with our heritage. Preserving this same heritage and ensure that we don’t forget our origins and our future below mentioned are the 15 best art galleries that have displays of both traditional and contemporary art.
The gallery was established in 1933 and it is a non-governmental institution. It runs with the sole motive of preserving the art and culture of West Bengal and in the larger context, India. It is known for its auditorium that is built specially to aid traditional stage shows. Apart from this, the academy is a host to a collection of wonderful paintings. It houses work like ‘A Winter’s Evening’ and a ‘Girl with a pitcher’ by Rabindra Nath Tagore. Some other notable artists who feature in the academy are M.F Hussein and Jamini Roy.
This government museum is a premier institution established in 1968. It is known for its Gandharan sculptures. It also has miniature paintings from Rajasthan known as Pahari paintings. Apart from the traditional collection, it also houses a range of contemporary artwork like Amritha Sher-Gil. Some other notable artists that feature here are Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Raja Ravi Varma etc.
The government museum in Chennai is the third largest museum in the world. It’s complex hosts a variety of exhibits studying anthropology with them ranging from weapons to art and cultural history. The museum is credited as the second oldest in the country after being established in 1851. The architecture of the complex is Indo-Saracenic architecture style. It holds a pantheon type structure which is the infamous theatre. The art gallery holds a wide range of artists and sculptures. The Chola stone and metal sculptures here are especially noteworthy. It has a wide range of paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and gets a lot of visitors throughout the year.
This is the oldest museum in India after being installed in 1814. The art collections in the gallery are structured and classified according to the era to which they belong and the kind of painting they are. The traditional installations here are noteworthy and definitely reinforce the richness of Indian culture. The art gallery has 4 sections which are Bengal Painting Gallery, Mughal Painting Gallery, Textile Gallery and Decorative Art with the South-East Asian Gallery.
The Jehangir Art Gallery began its operation in 1952 in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. It was founded with the help of donations given by Sir Cowasji Jehangir, 2nd Baronet in memory of his late son. The architecture was done by Durga Bajpai, and is one of the earliest structures built in the city. It hosts artists from M.F. Hussain to S.H. Raza. It is a milestone for an artist, especially of Indian origin. The gallery is a delight for art lovers because of its beautifully curated collection. It also has sculptures and photographers and regularly holds workshops and other culturally enriching shows.
This art gallery came into existence only in 2009 but it has been doing extremely well. It has paintings of both traditional and modern natures and has a collection of over 500 paintings. This is are arranged according to the kind of work they are and the era they come from. It has artists like Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Raja Deen Dayal, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy etc.
7. National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
This is one of the finest art galleries in modern India. It was inaugurated in 1954 and has a collection of a staggering 14000 pieces. These works are carefully selected paintings of both classical and contemporary nature. The exhibits include works of the famous Indian artists like Jamini Roy and the Tagore brothers. The gallery also hosts work from abroad and it is considered an honour to feature in the gallery.
The art in this gallery surpasses all constraints of time. The artworks start off in the 10th century and slowly the evolution is shown to what art is now. It has Deccan painting, Mughal paintings and the largest collection of miniature paintings. Even lesser know work of Sikh and Kashmiri artists is showcased here.
The Victoria Memorial was inaugurated and opened for the public in 1921. The gallery showcases a wide variety of Indian and foreign paintings. The museum is split into two galleries which are the Royal Gallery and the Calcutta Gallery. The Royal Gallery displays portraits of Queen Victoria. The western paintings collection is adorned with works of Charles D’Oyly, William Hadges, Johann Zoffany, etc.
This gallery is one of the leading Modern Art Galleries in the country. It has two locations, Kolkata and New Delhi. It has Traditional installations that include paintings and sculpture but what makes it stands apart is its feature of printmaking, video art installations. These are relatively new in the Indian mainstream gallery scene. The visitors to the gallery have a choice between modern and contemporary art paintings. The gallery has reinforced the timeless feature of artwork and aims to reach the youth and to attract their attention towards the art.
11. Gallery Kolkata
Gallery Kolkata was established in 2004. It is known for working with luminaries and helping the up-coming artists. They take pride in their fraternity of artists who have supported and cooperated with the gallery to make it appeal to the modern audience. They have a vast collection of artworks and sculptures and have a website to their name.
The CSMVS was previously known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India. The building’s architecture uses the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and also brings in elements of other styles of architecture like the Mughal, Maratha and Jain. The Tata’s were one of the primary donors to the art section of the museum. The art collections consist of ivory sculptures and miniature painting. It also includes some ancient manuscripts of Indian epics.
It was opened in 1969. It has a Pablo Picasso collection hosting some of his famous works. It is known for its wide variety of sculpture and which has works of famous sculptors like. Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury, Sancho Chaudhuri, Sarbari Roy Chowdhury and Dhanraj Bhagat. It is also home to a lot of old Egyptian artefacts.
14. Nehru Centre Art Gallery
It is a circular gallery that came up in 1992. It is mainly known as a platform for young artists. It encourages young talent and new ideas. It also helps take prominent artwork to the younger generations and has hosted students from various art colleges.
The Museum came up in 1962. It acts as an additional wing to the Tribal Research and Training Institute, Pune. It was established in order to showcase the culture and art from the Maharashtrian tribes. It is aimed at preserving the artistic and poetic works of the tribals. The exhibits include musical instruments, tools, jewellery, idols. It also includes photographs and warli paintings. The handicrafts work are also a special attraction and include costumes, masks, and bamboo works all of which are related to the 47 tribes that belong to Maharashtra.