• The Bombay Art Society

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AboutBombay Art Society

The Bombay Art Society, a Non-Profit Art Institution, was founded in 1888. It is one of the oldest art institutions in the Asian sub-continent. Considering the yeoman services in the field of art, the Bombay Art Society (BAS) was granted a piece of land by the State Government and the BAS Art Complex is built on the same land area of 10000 sq.ft. The Art Complex houses three Art Galleries, an Amphitheater, a Library and an Art Shop in Bandra Reclamation, Mumbai. It was inaugurated on 13th February, 2016 at the hands of The Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi, in the presence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Devendra Fadnavis, President of the Nationalist Congress Party, Shri. Sharad Pawar and other dignitaries.

A little sneak-peak into our history::
History of Indian Art is as old as the Indian civilisation itself and every major period of history has given India newer modes of expression and forms of art. The influence of modern art was felt long before Independence in cities like Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras, where schools of art were established by the British.
The Bombay Art Society, originally founded to encourage the artistically inclined British in India, later began to include Indian participants in their exhibitions. The Annual Art Exhibitions of the society were important social events and were written about in local news papers. Eminent artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Ganapathi Mhatre, and MF Pithawala submitted their entries for the competitions and won prizes.
At the time of independence, a new beginning of artistic impulse was felt with the dawn of a new era. The impact of the Second World War, science, the changing social environment, economic scenario and political thinking had its influence in the Indian Art scene. Since then, the Contemporary Art scene of India has been rapidly evolving, among other catalysts, owing to economic growth, new media, technological advancements, and simultaneously seething social as well as cultural tensions.
Twenty two years after it was set up in 1888, the Bombay Art Society published its first journal. Titled as "A Brief Historical Sketch of the Bombay Art Society, with special reference to the period — 1906-1910", this is perhaps the earliest available document that defined its purpose and functions. The text written by Prof. 0. V. Muller, Bombay Art Society's then secretary, reads "The Bombay Art Society was founded in 1888 for the purpose of encouraging art, especially amongst amateurs and educating the native public to a true appreciation of its merits. By affording opportunities of exhibiting work done, submitting it to criticism, winning medals, prizes and certificates, and at time disposing of surplus productions, the Society endeavours not only to keep alive but to develop this artistic sense."
The Bombay Art Society has played a seminal role as an organisation promoting art and artists in India since the last 131 years.
At the time of independence, a new beginning of artistic impulse was felt with the dawn of a new era. The impact of the Second World War, science, the changing social environment, economic scenario and political thinking had its influence in the Indian Art scene. Contemporary artists inspired a new line creating a synthesis between the east and the west. Since the last two decades, the Contemporary Art scene of India is rapidly evolving, among other catalysts, owing to economic growth, new media, technological advancements, and simultaneously seething social as well as cultural tensions. From domestic market the Indian Art is now traveling internationally to fetch often astronomical prices. At home, however, a gap between arts creation and appreciation still exists. Contemporary Art remains an elite closed door affair limiting its access to few.
In the midst of this widening gap, there is undoubtedly a sea-change taking place in the Indian contemporary art scene. Since its inception, The Bombay Art Society is engaged in bridging this gap at this intersection, traversing the global and the local by engaging the arts and its audience. The Bombay Art Society is a space for contemporary art devoted to examining the exchange of ideas focusing on mounting exhibitions and hosting stimulating observation engaged in collective and aesthetic discourses. The Bombay Art Society was one of the first art society's that were established in India. If an art institution which is founded by art lovers, run by artists, and receives little help from the State can run for more than 127 years then the institution's importance at the helm of the art scene in India and internationally cannot be overlooked.
Twenty two years after it was set up in 1888, the Bombay Art Society published its first journal. Titled as "A Brief Historical Sketch of the Bombay Art Society, with special reference to the period — 1906-1910", this is perhaps the earliest available document that defined its purpose and functions. . The text written by Prof. 0. V. Muller, Bombay Art Society's then secretary, reads "The Bombay Art Society was founded in 1888 for the purpose of encouraging art, especially amongst amateurs, and of educating the native public to a true appreciation of its merits. By affording opportunities of exhibiting work done, submitting it to criticism, winning medals, prizes and certificates, and at time disposing of surplus productions, the Society endeavors not only to keep alive but to develop this artistic sense. The various Arts Schools of the country are putting forth an ever increasing number of students, and these would be artists also find in the Society's Exhibitions one of their chief supports."

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Monday - Sunday - - - 11.00 am - 7.00 pm


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