Thursday, February 13, 2020

Inching closer to divestment, Air India invites public to retrace history through a photo exhibition of its art, artefacts and textiles

Amidst everyday news of Air India trying hard to keep its flag flying, a three day exhibition of photographs and art works at Nehru Centre in Worli, ‘The Maharaja of the Skies – An Indian Heritage’, is a rare showcase of its history through collectibles.
 Organised by the Society for Culture and Environment, it was inaugurated on Wednesday by Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani. On display from today will be 2,200 photographs of the airline’s precious possessions and eight posters. Divided into 10 sections, it will tell visitors some classic stories.
 One about an in-flight wedding of jeweller Laxman Popley’s son; another about Salvador Dali designing an ashtray in exchange for an elephant. The curator of the show, Meera Das, who is also secretary of the Society for Culture and Environment, said Air India was considered the gold standard of corporate collecting through the 1950s and the 1960s.
Das said, “In 2016, Air India approached me to look at their collection. When I saw their archives, I realised there are so many stories to tell. This is just a glimpse into how culturally rich the organisation is.”
 13/02/20 Reema Gehi/Mumbai Mirror
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