Purrshottam Bhaggeria
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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, didn’t 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 recognition.

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 you all….

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 can’t 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 it’s not a painting, …………………….it’s a mirror.”

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 creating… Let us at least preserve and present to the masses all the great treasures we have…”

Press Clipping - HT City, 14th March 2009