Reliance Foundation pledges landmark gift to Met for Indian art

Metropolitan Museum Indian art

Copyrighted image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


NEW YORK – The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that the Reliance Foundation, the Indian philanthropic organization founded by Nita and Mukesh Ambani, has promised a generous gift to support exhibitions that explore and celebrate the arts of India.

“This is an outstanding commitment that will have a direct impact on The Met and the exhibitions it presents to its millions of annual visitors,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of the Museum. “As a global institution, we are devoted to studying and displaying art from every corner of the world, and this is made possible only through the generosity of our friends. Nita and Mukesh Ambani are truly visionary benefactors, and we are enormously grateful for this meaningful gift.”

The gift will support a range of exhibitions examining the accomplishments and influence of the arts and artists of India across time and in all media. The first exhibition to benefit from this gift is this fall’s Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs, opening at The Met Breuer on October 11, 2017. A retrospective of the pioneering artist, it will present his work from the late 1960s through his last unpublished projects of the late 1990s. Other exhibitions that will benefit from this sponsorship will cover such topics as early Buddhist art from the first century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., 17th-century Mughal art, and contemporary Indian sculpture. More details about these exhibitions will be provided as their opening dates are confirmed.

Nita and Mukesh Ambani are great champions of The Met. In 2016, Mr. and Mrs. Ambani and the Reliance Foundation supported the exhibition Nasreen Mohamedi, the first museum retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States that was also one of The Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibitions when it opened that spring. With this new gift, Mr. and Mrs. Ambani and the Reliance Foundation will in time have sponsored three important Indian exhibitions at The Met Breuer—along with two at The Met Fifth Avenue—allowing their Indian culture and heritage to be shared with the millions who visit The Met from all over the world. Their generosity will be recognized in The Met Breuer, among other leadership donors to The Met’s important initiative to showcase a global representation of modern and contemporary artistic practice.

In 2017 the Museum honored Mrs. Ambani at The Met Winter Party, an event celebrating the achievements of those who foster greater diversity and inclusion in the world of art. Generous with her time and expertise, Mrs. Ambani is also a member of The Met’s new International Council.

“India has a rich heritage of art and culture that can be traced back to the fourth century B.C. At Reliance Foundation, it has been our ongoing mission to recognize and promote this valuable tradition by offering opportunities and platforms for Indian art locally in India and at various institutions around the globe. This partnership with The Met enables Indian art to be shown at an iconic institution and further encourages us to continue our work in the art world. We are truly delighted to be part of this long-term collaboration. We believe this will prove to be a wonderful partnership for learning and sharing that will go a long way for art in India,” said Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation.


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Metropolitan Museum Indian art