|Who we are
The Birla Academy of Art & Culture was established in 1967 with the principal objective of fostering the growth of art and culture with emphasis on visual and performing arts. In this time, the Academy has established itself as a centre of cultural, artistic and educational activities.
It all started when Sri & Smt B.K. Birla; foremost industrialists of India, had started collecting rare and valuable treasures of art out of their profound love for art & beauty. With a sizeable collection in place, it was decided that such veritable treasure troves of history should be accessible to all. A public Charitable Trust was created in 1962 with a view to collecting, preserving and exhibiting art objects for the public.
For accommodating the proposed institute, the present eleven storied building was completed in 1966 and it was formally inaugurated under the name “Birla Academy of Art & Culture” by Karan Singh in 1967. It is now one of the premier museums and art galleries of the country. It consists of spacious display-halls, necessary for full-fledged cultural centre of modern importance.
Facilities & Activities
The main activities of the Academy consist of :
- Collecting, preserving and displaying museum objects
- Hosting exhibitions of Indian and International Art objects
- Organizing cultural performances
- Educational programmes of varied nature
The museum of the Academy has a distinct character of its own and depicts the growth and development of Indian art from 1st century, B.C. till now. The museum houses works by many celebrated contemporary Indian artists as well as few fine specimens of modern western art. The Garden adjacent to the Academy is often used for open air expositions, art-fairs and cultural performances.
In order to unearth hidden and young talent, the Academy organizes All India Annual Exhibitions, one man shows, Group shows and Kala melas at regular intervals. In the field of performing arts, a cultural performance is organized once in a month.
The Academy is not only concerned about India’s glorious artistic past. It also promotes artistic activities and to help artists, the Academy lets out its 2nd and 4th floor Galleries including Auditorium to artists, art societies and cultural groups at a very nominal rent.
The Academy also holds Educational programmes, lectures, seminars, film shows, workshops and art appreciation classes. The Academy maintains an impressive library with a fine and eclectic collection of art books, journals and periodicals for public use.
Achievements & Successes
A distinctive achievement of the Academy has been the presentation of quite a few international exhibitions; of which the most memorable is the show of the outstanding French sculptor Rodin; a landmark exhibition for Calcutta. Other notable exhibits included the works of Henry Moore and the Graphics of Picasso. It has also hosted Russian festival shows, German Expressionist’s graphics, French designs and also American, Chinese and British porcelains.
With the active co-operation of Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the U.S.I.S. legendary American plays such as “Once upon a Mattress” and “Driving Miss Daisy” had been organized for the enjoyment of the people.
On an ending note, the Academy has also been enriched during the last 40 years by the continuous inflow of countless treasures. This would have not been possible without the inspiration, encouragement and immense help of Chairperson Smt. Sarala Birla, Founder-Trustee Sri B.K. Birla and Vice-Chairperson Smt. Jayashree Mohta.