After over a year of renovations aimed at restoring its earlier glory, Jaipur House – built as the home of the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1936 and serving as the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) since 1954 – is likely to welcome visitors next week.
With a focus on preserving its architectural heritage, the renovations have also led to more space for exhibiting art in the building. NGMA director Ritu Sharma said while earlier many of the 50 rooms in Jaipur House were out of bounds for visitors as they were used to store artworks, now the entire building would be used for exhibitions. Storage has been moved out into the adjacent buildings in the complex constructed more recently.
“It is more of a restoration, not renovation as it has been in-tune with the heritage of the structure. For instance, cooling was an issue so we placed the air-conditioning units on the ground so as not to damage the beautiful arches of the building,” she said.
While the restored Jaipur House is expected to open on September 17 with an exhibition of around 1,000 works of Padma Shri awardee and Gandhian Upendra Maharathi, the treasures housed by the NGMA, including works by Amrita Shergil and M.F. Hussain, are expected to be displayed only next year as the building would remain under the care of the Central Public Works Department for finishing touches.
Culture ministry sources said PM Modi had visited the site on August 15.