Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi
Established in 1954 for providing a space where a cultural and national identity could be cultivated, the Lalit Kala Akademi was one of the first public art galleries to be set up in the country. The Lalit Kala Akademi of Delhi was inaugurated by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. This institution’s role was to focus mainly on visual arts in the country by not only preserving traditional arts but also promoting emerging modern artists. This amazing complex has a total ten art galleries inside it, all of which have been redone in the past few years. The new lighting system coupled with an outer panoramic shield that lets in light and greenery makes it a delightful experience for art lovers. Besides offering beautiful spaces for exhibiting artworks that can be rented by both Indian as well as international artists, the akademi also provides several scholarships to upcoming artists.
Where: Rabindra Bhavan, 35 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi
Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House
National Gallery of Modern Arts
This gallery has one of the most resplendent collections in the whole of India. Inaugurated in 1949, this gallery was established with the purpose of promoting modern art in the country. It has a collection of over 17,000 works dating back to 1857! Their collection consists of a wide variety of works that range from miniature paintings to modernist and contemporary art works. We find everything about this gallery fascinating – from the butterfly shaped building in which it is housed in to the wide array of works spanning over two centuries of Indian art. In the walls of this gallery you will across the works of most of the giants of Indian art scene. While you are there do not miss out on the walkthroughs organized by the gallery at 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Timings: 10am to 5pm (Closed on Mondays and National Holidays)
Fees: Rs. 20 for Indians and Rs.500 for foreign nationals
Where: Jaipur House, India Gate, New Delhi
Triveni Kala Sangam
Founded in 1950 by Sundari K. Shridharani this complex of art and culture consists of four art galleries. Besides exhibiting artworks, with two theatres and regular dance classes, it is also a thriving centre for culture. The idea for establishing this centre was first thought of in a room above the Coffee House in Connaught Place. The current building of Triveni which was inaugurated in 1963 was designed by the American architect Joseph Stein. He is the same person who designed the beautiful buildings of the India Habitat Centre. Within the Triveni complex is located the famous Art Heritage Gallery. Founded in 1977 by Mrs. Roshen Alkazi in collaboration with her husband Mr. Ebrahim Alkazi, this gallery has presented over 350 exhibitions ranging from artists like Tyeb Mehta, Somnath Hore, F.N. Souza, M.F. Husain, Akbar Padamsee, and K.G. Subramanyam. If you are in Delhi, do visit this vibrant hub of culture!
Where: 205, Tansen Marg, New Delhi
Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House
All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS)
This is possibly one of the oldest organisation, established in 1938 for the promotion of Indian art. In 1928 several prominent Indian artists came together under the banner of AIFACS to contribute to the decoration of the India House in London in association with the British Government. The building of AIFACS houses a total of four art galleries. Besides providing galleries for solo and group exhibitions, this gallery is known for organising all India art exhibitions annually.
Where: 1, Rafi Marg, New Delhi
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat (Take the Red Cross exit)
Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre
Set up in the year 2000, this is one of the more recent art galleries of the city. That however has not prevented it from making quite a splash in the art circles of Delhi. Known for keeping up with the emerging trends in the art world, this gallery organises exhibitions of not only two dimensional but also three dimensional art works. With the purpose of encouraging cultural activities in the city, this gallery provides a platform for showcasing not only art works but also organising seminars. While you are at the India Habitat Centre, do not forget to check out the two other art galleries the centre hosts – the Experimental art gallery and the Open Palm courts art gallery.
Where: Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh