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If you’re in and around Kolkata this February and March, head to the newly-refurbished Currency Building in Dalhousie. The elegant three-storied landmark is hosting an art exhibition titled Ghare Baire | The World, The Home and Beyond: 18th-20th Century Art in Bengal. Commissioned by India’s Ministry of Culture, the exhibit has been curated and organised by DAG, a leading art gallery who have partnered with the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Delhi.
The month-long event is a stepping stone into the diverse art that has emerged from West Bengal between the 1700s and 1900s. Covering paintings, photographs, woodblocks and more, it is a zealous recollection of Bengali art, artists and movements, covering well-known periods like the Bengal Renaissance, as well as lesser-known forms like oleographs and Kalighat paintings.
DAG has brought together over 600 artworks for the show, out of which 19 have been loaned by the NGMA. Split into 12 broad categories, visitors can spot ins-and-outs of movie sets via the lens of photographer Nemai Ghosh, marvel at the subtle watercolours of Nandalal Bose, or learn from the evocative political style of Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, among others. A day-long visit is a crash course in visual expression from eastern India.
The Currency Building is a heritage structure in Dalhousie, Kolkata. Designed in the Italian style, it was founded in 1833 and first housed the Agra Bank. It received its current name in 1868 when the government took up a large portion of the building for its Currency Department. Skylights, marble-chunar sandstone floors and airy rooms are hallmarks of the building. You can see the new facade in the picture below.
Extensive conservation and restoration work was carried out on the building to transform it into an exhibition hub, the first being held in January 2019. A year later, judging by the scale of Ghare Baire, it looks like good times are ahead.
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Ghare Baire is open for public viewing between 9 AM to 5 PM till March 5, 2020 (Mondays closed). You can find the exhibit at the Currency Building in Dalhousie, Kolkata. See dagworld.com
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