Mr. Bhaggeria's Speech
The urge to collect has been a part of human
consciousness forever. Collecting art is a well-known passion
and ownership of art in one form or another, has flourished
through centuries as the temples, churches, mosques and public
buildings became abodes of art.
Many Indian Kings & their Kingdoms would have never been
so fondly remembered, but for their patronage of art. Art
collection in the sense in which it is known today, did not
begin in India before our encounter with the west, and
thereafter continued to prosper even in the post-independent
era. There was no single patron to perform this multi-hued
function of patronage.
Individuals like Naval Tata, Manu Thacker, Homi & Jamshed
Bhabha, Alkazi Saheb, and many others like them became
visionary benefactors of Indian Art.
This was the time when most of the artists in spite of their
talent, creativity and hard work, didnt get enough
recognition for their efforts. At this critical juncture, THE
CREATORS and THE ADMIRERS of Indian art,
came together & joined hands. Thus emerged a complimentary
team, which took Indian Art forward to its next level of
Over the years, a lot of books and printed materials have
been written and published on Indian Art as a subject, its
history and on the artists who have evolved over time.
However, there has never been an effort to recognize the
Collectors of Indian Art. This book salutes the pioneers and
is a doorway into the mystical world of discerning collectors
of Modern & Contemporary Indian Art.
India has emerged as the hub of art renaissance, where
patronage, now also includes a new class of young collectors
Friends, I just remembered a joke of a young collector like
me, and I would like to take the liberty of sharing it with
A young art collector was visiting Louvre, the
famous French Museum. She looked at a painting, and suddenly
said, Is this a dreadful painting or what! I cant
believe it, that a respectable place like this could have such
a horrible piece of art in its collection.
Pardon, Madame! one of the staff said, But
its not a painting,
Though as a Collector, I am aware of the joys and
idiosyncrasies of collecting art, but the Collectors being
profiled in this book are indeed pioneers and have been
instrumental in supporting art for many years when art was not
an asset, but a passion and admiration of creativity.
In fact they initiated the process of patronage and
Collection of art and due to their contribution over the
years, Modern & Contemporary Indian Art has evolved today
into having international interest, leading to the current
buoyancy, that it is enjoying in the global markets.
We have paid our humble tribute to 27 such Collectors,
through this book, but there are many other passionate
Collectors of art, who wished to remain anonymous, for their
personal reasons, though we thank them for their best wishes.
Each book like every piece of art is a unique story of
a journey & adventure of a particular dream & an
obsession of a particular time.
But, Good art is timeless. I hope this book enriches
generations of readers and leaves them with an abiding
interest in Modern and Contemporary Indian Art.
In the end, I would like to quote a very well known American
Art Collector Peggy Guggenheim who once said -
Today is the age of collecting, not only of
Let us at least preserve and present to the
masses all the great treasures we have