Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
The history of India is vast and grand and complex, and encapsulating it within a single museum exhibition while also tying it with the history of the world, is an ambitious and nearly impossible task. But it is a task that has seemingly been pulled off by Mumbai’s massive Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), more simply referred to by its older name, the Prince of Wales Museum. The Mumbai museum has just launched a brand new exhibition that shines the spotlight on India’s history and its connection to the rest of the world. Fittingly, the exhibition is titled ‘India and the World: A History in Nine Stories’. ALSO READ: Five Things to Know about the F. M. Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum
As the name suggests, there are nine stories to tell. The museum has set up nine sections, sourcing a number pieces of interest from Indian museums and collections as well as international sources. The British Museum has, in fact, loaned 124 items to CSMVS for the exhibition, possibly the first time that so many works have been brought together from a European or North American museum to an overseas exhibit.
Within India, items have been brought from big names like the National Museum of New Delhi and smaller state archaeology departments and institutes across the country. Mridula Chari of Scroll.in suggests that such items have rarely been displayed in such proximity, if ever at all.
The nine sections have been arranged chronologically, starting with the first section that looks into the evolution of modern human beings and ending with ‘Time Unbound’, a section that displays contemporary items focused on ideas of perspective and time. Objects and relics from important times of world history have been placed alongside artifacts from India, as a juxtaposition of the evolution of civilization in India and the rest of the world. For instance, the second section showcases an ancient Egyptian relief and Mesopotamian sculpture with a Harappan carving of a bull. NOW READ: Indonesia Opens its Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Art historian Naman Ahuja worked with J.D. Hill from the British Museum to curate the exhibition. The landmark exhibition started off on November 11, 2017, and it will continue until February 18, 2018. Catch the exhibition on all open days of the museum during this period, from 10am to 6pm.