It gives me immense pleasure to become part of one of the largest and oldest encyclopaedic museums in Asia as the Director, the charge which I took up on 1st September 2017. From being "an institution for the reception of all articles that might be sent to illustrate Orient manners and history", the museum has today become a vast repository of an enormous collection of indigenous and international exhibits that is spread across its six sections - Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Zoology, Geology, and Botany.
There has been a paradigm shift in the concept of Museums across the world. The present trends of contemporary museums across the world have been transformed over the years considerably. Now, the Museums endeavour to reimaging their institution as an integral part of the communities, making their museum more inclusive by radically changing its concept by envisioning and ensuring the museum space where more and more public participations are encouraged so as to make the museum more interactive as well as audience centric. The historic Indian Museums is not simply known for its rich and varied collections of artifacts of an enormous collection of indigenous and international exhibits that is spread across its six sections - Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Zoology, Geology, and Botany, rather it is acknowledged as an institution that allows you to meet with your friends, neighbours, discuss thoughts and opinions, and becoming an active part of the community should also be at par with other international museums. There has been a symbiotic relation between the artifact and events which are organized in our museum that connects with the people and their culture.
Indian Museum now increasingly engaging its audience, researchers, connoisseurs by holding art talks, symposia, seminars, workshops, cultural events, competitions for children, giving opportunity for learning Yoga, creating space for spiritual discourse to unravel the mysteries, facilitating the youths for their learning of different tradition of art and architecture. Keeping in view of engaging, educating and entertaining different sections and segments of audience. Besides giving opportunity to the youths to learn the art of documentary making, heritage conservation, performing art, ceramic and terracotta, crafting and folk art learning so on and so forth. These activities are organized to build audience through which a larger community can have their participation and engagement.
Indian Museum has starred taking up the initiative to cater to different segments of visitors as per their tastes and likings and accordingly formulating and designing exhibition and organizing events to make them more interpretative and entertaining and engaging by generating new content and experiences so as to make the museum more interacting and interpretive in a storytelling manner by using different digital gazettes and software.
Experiences of the visitor's interpretation of the artifacts displayed in the museum are to create more happiness than material goods which elsewhere they usually experience because they provide positive personal memories over time. That is, why as we revisit the memory of our trip to the museum, where we have a tendency to psychologically remove our negative memories. Visiting Indian Museum is an experience by itself.
The thrust of various activities and of Indian Museum programme is to encourage field research and exploration of the Damodar valley and sites alongside Hooghly river, revisiting and interpreting the findings and discovery of the past and organizing exhibitions and National and International Seminars to deliberate on those untouched topics connected with their recent observation and findings of history and Archaeology so as to redefine the history based on rational interpretation and scientific research. The second part of the thrust will be to link the artifacts with people's History and connecting people through the art object for their understandings in the contemporary context.
Over a period of time there has been a paradigm shift the dynamics museum both in Museum best practice and using the Cultural space for a wider scope which envisages global partnership, addressing social and gender issues, empowering and most importantly how Culture and Heritage can be better interpreted by way Exhibitions and Live events and researches for achieving these goals. Since communication plays a significant role in mobilising and motivating people this year's theme become more relevant to achieving the goal by way of Hyper connection with museums and other such cultural institutions .Indian Museum is committed to sincerely endeavour its role as a leading organisation of India to fulfilling its commitment by way engaging its audience both through real and virtual museum exhibitions and events also opening its doors for partnership and collaboration across the Cultural institutions in India and abroad.
Mr. Rajesh Purohit
Indian Museum | Kolkata