Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Bharany Collection - at the National Museum, Delhi

I went to see the Bharany collection on display at the National Museum. The show is called the Passionate Eye, and it represents a small selection from the vast collections of R. K. Bharany, whose son donated this collection to the museum.

Even the loveliest of gems needs a sensitive setting, and I was delighted at the aesthetics of the exhibition. The dark matte background, and the subtle lighting ensured that the objects drew the eye, and you were led through a progression of themed items. 
The Bharany collection is actually very varied; so making sense of it and ensuring that the layout has a natural physical progression without confusing and repeating themes is important. It's like story-telling. Every museum exhibition is a piece of story-telling. 

I was looking around, wondering who the story-tellers were; the magic guys who had highlighted and brought this set of art objects alive. I was lucky to bump into Siddhartha Chatterjee, who designed the exhibition display and the graphics. He was kind enough to explain some parts of the process. I realised, very quickly, the enormous work and thought that has gone into A Passionate Eye. I could only understand a tiny part of the thought process in our ten minutes together, but it was a valuable insight. I would have liked to spend more time, just talking about the project, but you know how it is - the day has just so many hours, and I had multiple meetings lined up. 
In the photo above you can see one of the many highlights of the exhibition; a Rajasthani pichwai, with a Vishnu bronze from Kerala in the foreground. Siddhartha explained to me that in designing this section, they decided to go with a primarily Vaishnavite theme; but also that hidden in one corner were two interesting exceptions :) If you visit the exhibition, see if you can spot them!

A Passionate Eye is on view at the National Museum until 14 August, from 10am -5pm, all days of the week except Mondays.

7 comments:

Aadil Desai said...

Did they allow photography inside the special exhibition? Usually most places don't allow it so was curious. Unfortunately will not be there in Delhi to see it. Is it travelling to other museums by any chance?

Aadil Desai said...

I did see a clipping about Chotelal Bharany on TV the other day explaining his love for collecting and showing some of the artefacts.

Aadil Desai said...

Thanks for sharing your experience there.

Kathryn said...

I wish I could get back to Delhi to see it - the National Museum has so many fascinating collections and such a tiny fraction on display. If only this exhibition could travel a few thousand miles nearer me. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into what I'm missing - I will get back one day, I will, I will, I will!

Deepa Krishnan said...

Aadil, National Museum has a camera fee and allows cameras inside.

Aadil Desai said...

Yes, I was there the last time for two full days taking pictures in there, but was not sure if they allowed it in special exhibitions like this one.

Delhi Travel said...

real blogger clicked real pictures............ thanks a lot for post.