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New Exhibition Highlighting Early Phase of Sir J.J. School of Art and the Progressive Art Movement
PRAVAHA: A GLIMPSE OF SIR J. J. SCHOOL OF ART AND PROGRESSIVE ART MOVEMENT (LATE 19TH - MID 20TH CENTURY CE)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India), Mumbai brings to you a new exhibition on the ‘Bombay School’ paintings from the CSMVS collection elucidating the flow - 'Pravaha' of the 'Bombay School' with focus on Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. This exhibition covers a range of paintings from the 1880s to 1950s through rare works of Pestonjee Bomanjee, Rustom Siodia, Salvalaram Haldankar, Antonio Trindade, S. N. Gorakshakar, Govind Mahadev Solegaonkar, G. H. Nagarkar, J. M. Ahivasi, Raghunath Dhondopant Dhopeshwarkar, Raghuveer Govind Chimulkar, Rasiklal Parikh and Y. K. Shukla, Abala Rahiman, Keshav Bhavanrao Chudekar, Lakshman Narayan Taskar, Syed Haider Raza, and Krishnaji Howlaji Aara.
This exhibition is a tribute to William Ewart Gladstone Solomon (1880‒1965) who was the Principal of Sir J. J. School of Art from 1918 to 1936 as well as the Curator of this Museum from January 24, 1921 to March 25, 1937 and was on the Board of Trustees. Solomon foresightedly acquired most of the Bombay School paintings for this Museum, which shall remain a great legacy for generations. He also acquired paintings of many lesser known artists who had participated in exhibitions organized by Shimla Fine Arts Society, Bombay Art Society, and Royal British Colonial Society of Artists. A portrait of Lady Meherbai Tata by Solomon is part of this display.
The Bombay School is a synthesis of diverse elements which has been represented in the exhibition — the academic realism; technique of landscape painting showing off the influence of the Impressionism and Post-impressionism; the Bombay Revivalism awoke to protest the academism and hence the interest shown by the artists towards the Ajanta murals and Indian miniature paintings. It also includes the rebellious and dynamic style of the Progressive Artists Group emanating from the negation of the framework of the art school education, from the exposure to the contemporary ‘isms’ of the West, and the sense of national identity that reached its pinnacle following the independence of India. There are also some prints of rare art works by some of the well-known artists of this phase when they were students. Sir J. J. School of Art has made reproductions available to us for display.
The exhibition is organised in the Circular Gallery of Visual Art on the first floor of the heritage wing of CSMVS. The exhibition is now open to the public for viewing.
Notes to the Editor
About the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, CSMVS Museum, is a premier museum and cultural institution of India. It is a not-for-profit organization opened to the public in 1922 and is governed by a Board of Trustees. Designed by George Wittet, a British architect in 1909, the museum building is a Grade I Heritage Structure and is a fine example of the Indo Saracenic style of architecture. The Museum houses a 60,000-strong multicultural collection of artifacts from Asia and Europe.
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