India Now - page 49

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APRIL-MAY 2015
Contemporary Notes:
Changing exhibits of well-
known artists in the four
galleries and halls and
even outside have made
Jehangir Art Gallery a
thriving hub of activities.
Building
Art History
Jehangir Art Gallery is a slice of history
itself, intertwined inextricably with the
history of India, its art and culture.
BY SANGITA THAKUR VARMA
M
umbai! Sea, sand, surf and a distinct and unique fla-
vour all its own. Mumbai with its Gateway of India is a
landmark city in the history of India. The maximum city
has an intriguing history, an enchanting topography,
a mixed cultural heritage and a network of landmark
buildings, both gravity defying modern skyscrapers and colonial era heri-
tage buildings that grant it the status of a global megapolis. South Mum-
bai stands out from the city’s clutter for many reasons, but primarily for
housing the art heart of Maharashtra’s capital—Kala Ghoda—the popular
name of Fort Area, Mumbai’s historic core. The iconic Jehangir Art Gal-
lery situated in the premises of the Prince of Wales Museum at the south-
western tip of the old Fort area can be credited
with the area getting the landmark geographical
distinction as the art district of Mumbai.
The genesis of Jehangir Art Gallery itself
makes for an interesting piece of history. Guja-
rati migrant Hirji Jivanji Readymoney came to
Mumbai in 1717 and as the first Indian to visit
China, is said have pioneered Indo-China trade,
bringing in great prosperity to the erstwhile
Bombay Presidency in its wake. Hirji followed
up that first visit with four more and built up a
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