Monday, February 10, 2020

Ahead of divestment, Air India to showcase its art heritage

“Air India bought its first set of six paintings for a princely sum of Rs 87.50 in 1956, from a novice art school graduate, B Prabha ” says 79-year-old, Uttara Parikh who retired 21 years ago after dedicating 32 years to the State-run carrier.

Parikh, the then deputy commercial director of advertising, promotions and product development, was part of a team that started curating the art collection at Air India. Today, Air India has over 40,000 art pieces and collectables, currently housed at the airlines' headquarters in Mumbai. To showcase it's heritage and diverse art collection, Air India has organised a four-day photo exhibition of 7,000 artefacts from February 13 at Nehru Science Centre. There will be no entry fee.

Air India’s collection of paintings, textiles, sculptures, traditional wooden and bronze artwork will be displayed at the exhibition. The collection also includes collectibles, posters, statues, giveaways, menus Air India, which was conceptualised at Air India’s in-house design studio in Mumbai.

Meera Dass, Secretary, Society of Culture and Environment said, “In 2016, Air India employees started making an inventory of all art pieces owned by Air India. They realised that this beautiful collection ought to be seen by the public.” Dass was instrumental in roping in former employees such as Parikh to identify the ‘treasures of Air India’, for the exhibition.

The exhibition will witness eminent speakers including those associated with Air India in the yesteryears. “For me, it was payback time to the airline from which I learnt so much. I had the opportunity to be a part of the history of Indian aviation, and nurture it. I was privileged to have to opportunity to work with eminent personalities like Mr JRD Tata and learn so much from them as well,” said Parikh who will also be speaking at the event.
10/02/20 Forum Gandhi/Business Line
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