Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India

Established at the initiative of the avid art collector Kiran Nadar, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) opened its doors to the public in January 2010, as the first private museum of art exhibiting Modern and contemporary works from India and the sub-continent. Located in the heart of New Delhi, India’s capital city, KNMA as a non-commercial, not-for-profit organization intends to exemplify the dynamic relationship between art and culture through its exhibitions, publications, educational, and public programs.

The ever-growing collection of KNMA is largely focused on significant trajectories. Its core collection highlights a magnificent generation of 20th century Indian painters from the post-Independent decades and equally engages the different art practices of the younger contemporaries.

The museum has a rich repository of wide-ranging works by established artists from modern and contemporary art. This section provides a glimpse into the thoughtfully accumulated collection, which has works that are iconic and represent pivotal landmarks of development in Indian art. Focal works are highlighted in this section, which enables one to become acquainted with artists that have contributed heavily to the growth of Indian art and continue to enrich it.

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In Kiran Nadar’s words, “Though the idea of opening a private art museum occurred with the intention of sharing my art collection with the larger public, I was also acutely aware of the existing dearth of institutional spaces that could bring visibility to modern and contemporary art from India and the subcontinent”.

Sponsored by the Shiv Nadar Foundation, KNMA is plugging the lack of art promotion in the public sphere and is working towards encouraging art appreciation. . KNMA aspires to become a place for confluence, through its curatorial initiative and exhibitions, school and college workshops, art appreciation discourses, symposiums and public programs. It is focused on bridging the gap between art and the public and fostering a museum-going culture in India. In order to activate the museum as a site for visual and intellectual dialogue, the museum aims to develop innovative programs that seek active collaborations from artists as well as the public.

KNMA is a noteworthy addition to the list of private art museums that are a part of the shift occurring in the art world across the globe with increasing number of collectors bringing out their collections to the public. The 34,000 square feet museum space has housed several critically acclaimed exhibitions that have celebrated Modern and contemporary art in the country and abroad. KNMA upholds the tradition of art patronage and continues to expand that definition through its education initiatives. It also collaborates with schools, colleges, NGOS, trusts This diffusion of knowledge is achieved through regular workshops where adults and children alike get to learn about new art forms and techniques as well as benefit from their interactions with the artists who frequently head these programs. Screenings of films, stimulating curatorial programs, and curated walks form an integral part of the museum’s ever expanding itinerary.

Kiran Nadar is an Indian art collector and philanthropist. She is the wife of Shiv Nadar, the founder of HCL Technologies, and is a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation and the founder of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

She met Shiv Nadar at an advertising agency where she worked and the two got married. She and Shiv Nadar have a daughter called Roshni Nadar. She is also one of the top contract bridge players in India.

Nadar started her career in advertising as a communications and brands professional at MGM. She then joined NIIT and helped shape the brand.

Currently, her roles include managing the SSN Trust, Public Health Foundation of India (PFHI), Rasaja Foundation and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation to support young Muslim girls in their education in Uttar Pradesh.

Established at the initiative of avid art collector Kiran Nadar, KNMA opened its doors in January 2010 as the first private museum exhibiting Modern and Contemporary Art from India and the subcontinent. A non-commercial, not-for-profit organisation, the Museum intends to exemplify the dynamic relationship between art and culture through its exhibitions,publications, educational and public programs. By reaching out to diverse groups of audience, KNMA aspires to be a ‘people-centered’ and ‘action-oriented’ space. Supported by the Shiv Nadar Foundation, KNMA is plugging the social need of promoting art and instilling its deep appreciation amongst individuals and the larger public. In Kiran Nadar’s words, “though the idea of opening a private art museum occurred with the intention of sharing my art collection with the larger public, I was also acutely aware of the existing dearth of institutional spaces in India that could bring visibility to the diversity of modern and contemporary art”.

KNMA is driven by the need to welcome in our everyday life, the presence and relevance of artistic enjoyment and aesthetic awareness. In order to activate the museum as a discurvise site, we are encouraging research, innovative programming and seeking active collaborations. Roobina Karode,the Director and Chief-Curator reiterates, “KNMA is premised on the belief that art museums today are not merely repositories of art objects or sites of display, but can be mobilized as spaces for dialogue and sustained interaction”.

About the Collection

The growing permanent collection of KNMA is focused on significant trajectories of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art. The core of this collection, built over the last two decades, highlights a magnificent generation of 20th century Indian painters, mainly the Bombay Progressives such as FN Souza, V S Gaitonde, M F Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee and Ram Kumar. Some of the rare and seminal works of pre-Independent and early post-Independent have been sourced and permanently brought home. The collection equally engages with an array of contemporary practices of younger generations of artists. With artworks from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Diaspora, the Collection transcends national boundaries and extends itself into the nuances of transcultural processes and shared histories. It represents a variety of media, from painting , drawing, sculpture, prints, photography, and video to monumental installations and assemblages. Works are displayed and rotated through the museum’s research-intensive exhibitions and programs that also simultaneously highlight the directions of the growing collection. The KNMA Collection will be eventually housed permanently in a landmark building that will make art viewing a stimulating and memorable visual experience.