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Tasneem Zakaria Mehta is an art historian, writer, curator, designer and a cultural activist who has studied Fine Arts and Design at the J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. She did a Liberal Arts degree at Columbia University, New York, a post graduate degree in the History of Modern Art from Christies, London, and a Masters in English from Delhi University. She has completed research towards a PhD on the establishment of museums and schools of art in the 19th century, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
From 2003 Ms Mehta is the Managing Trustee and Honorary Director of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai City Museum, (the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum) which won the prestigious UNESCO 2005 Asia Pacific ‘Award of Excellence’ for Cultural Conservation. Ms. Mehta conceptualized, curated, designed, and implemented the restoration and revitalization of the Museum. She raised the seed capital for the project. For the first time in India a public private partnership has been established through a Trust for the management of a government cultural institution. The Museum has embarked on an ambitious exhibition and education programme including showcasing modern and contemporary art.
She has served several terms on the National Gallery of Modern Art, Advisory Board in Mumbai and is also on the NGMA’s national advisory board. She is a two term member of the Governing Council of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, and has served on the Governing Council of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been a member of the Central Advisory Board for Museums and a Senior Expert Advisor to UNESCO. Ms. Mehta has successfully led the heritage protection movement in Mumbai. She was recently elected vice chairman of INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, which was started by Indira Gandhi in 1984 with Rajiv Gandhi as its first chairman.She has been Convenor of the Mumbai chapter and member of the governing council since 1996. She was a Governor of the MMRDA (the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority) Heritage Society, since its inception in 1998 till 2009.
She has also recently been invited to chair the CII, Confederation of Indian Industries, Task Force on Museums and Heritage. The objective of the Task Force is to bring about more collaborative projects between industry and the arts to invigorate the cultural space in the country.
Ms. Mehta is an art critic and curator and has written and lectured extensively on contemporary art and heritage related issues. She writes regularly on art and culture for the Times for India. She was on the editorial advisory board of Art India the premier Indian art magazine. Tasneem has received several awards and recognition for her work. She is one of twenty five women in India who are selected by Harvard University, USA, as a “Star Woman” for their international women achievers study to be published in 2010.
Art connoisseur, businesswoman, design aficionado and philanthropist, Rajshree Pathy’s numerous interests make it impossible to define her with a single tag.
Born and raised in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu; Rajshree has a lineage that is steeped in the industrial history of South India. She passionately believes in education and wishes to create a system to share modern and contemporary culture with all the constituents of society, and thus creating effective awareness.
Rajshree and her artist daughter Aishwarya are the founders of
Contemplate: An arts initiative that will collaborate with artists and
art organizations to create unique platforms, support workshops to
encourage new dialogues and help in imparting knowledge by creating
forums and opportunities for contemporary art exposure and incubate art
The art initiative will closely partner and support, two art establishments – the Art Museum and the Art Institute. They are expected to be fully functional by the year 2011, at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Kavita Singh is an Associate Professor at the School of Arts and
Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is trained as an
art historian at M S University of Baroda (MFA, 1987) and Punjab
University, Chandigarh (PhD 1996). She was previously guest curator at
the San Diego Museum of Art, California and Research Editor at Marg. She
is currently working on a project on the place of museums in the social
landscape of India; this project is supported by a collaborative grant
from the Getty Foundation. She has published on Sikh art, Indian folk
and courtly painting and the history of museums in India.
Andrea is the Director of Visual Arts at the British Council, since 1995. She is a Trustee of the White chapel Art Gallery, UK representative at UNESCO Cultural Commission; British Commissioner for the International Venice Biennale of Art and Architecture; Chair of the Assessment Panel, Prince’s Drawing School; Trustee of the Advisory Board, Calcutta Museum of Contemporary Art; Advisor to the National Gallery’s Art-in-Residence programme.
Former posts include: Trustee of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle-Gateshead; Member of the Fine Art Faculty, British School at Rome; Advisor, Imperial War Museum; Member of the National Trust’s Contemporary Art Foundation; Member RIBA’s International Architecture Board; Member of the Court of the Royal College of Art; Art Advisor to Channel 4 TV Big Art; Member, Fine Art Panel, Arts Council of England; Member, Crafts Council.
She was Curator of the British Council Collection from 1991-1995, where she was responsible for key purchases of contemporary art, by artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Damien Hirst, Peter Doig, Anya Gallacio Steve McQueen, Douglas Gordon. From 1974-1976 Teaching Associate, University of Minnesota, History of Art Department and from 1976-1980 was Keeper of Prints and Drawings at Birmingham City Art Gallery and recently she was on the panel to select the winner of the Northern Art Prize in London.
Her publications include The Art and Mind of Victorian England, 1974, Catalogue raisonne of Rossetti Drawings in Birmingham City Art Gallery, 1976, Pre-Raphaelites, 1976, Pre-Raphaelite Portraits, 1978, The Germ: The Pre-Raphaelite Magazine, 1979, Stanley Spencer (co- curator with Jim Demetrion), De-Composition- new photography from Britain 1990, Leon Kossoff, Venice Biennale, 1995, Rachel Whiteread, Venice Biennale 1997, Lost and Found: Critical Voices in new British Design, Birkhauser 2000, Francis Bacon: Portraits, Hatje Cantze, Germany 2005, Tracey Emin : Borrowed Light, Venice Biennale 2007
She was awarded an OBE for service to British Art in 1998, then became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2001 and in 2007 was named by Tatler as one of the UK’s top 20 women of ‘Soft Power’.
In 1996, she did her practical studies at New
York Film Academy. In 2002, Culture Management at Stapferhaus Lenzburg,
From 1982-1990, she worked as a freelancer for art section of the daily journal "Der Bund".
From 1993-1996 she worked as a scientific collaborator at the Paul
Klee Foundation, Bern; in 1994, she was the Project Manager of the
Catalogue raisonné Paul Klee. Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin in der
Paul-Klee-Stiftung und Projektleiterin des Werkkatalogs Paul Klee.
From 1989-2001, she was appointed to give various lectures for
History of Art and Architecture, among others at the College for
Architects, Biel and at Bern University of the Arts.
In 1999 to 2005, she was the director and curator of Kunsthaus Langenthal, priority contemporary art. In 2003, she won the Culture Award of the Canton of Bern and the City of Langenthal.
Since November 2005, she worked as the Head of Visual Arts, Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia.
In 2002, she worked in the Production of the film “Mariann Grunder Bildhauerin”, which is shown at Swiss Television and at the Solothurn Film Festival, 2003. She also worked on the Publication of text to themes concerning contemporary art.
Selection: 2005 for Memoriav “Die Vergänglichkeit des Reproduzierbare.” – Videokunst und neue Medien zwischen Archiv und Gegenwart (Video art and New Media between Archive and the Present) and for „Neue Zürcher Zeitung“ „Zwischen Ausstellungsraum und Atelier. Unabhängige Projekträume beleben die Kunstszene Londons“. (Between exhibition space and studio. Independent artist run project spaces make London’s art scene lively)