The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum is an institution of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. For the first time in India, a public-private partnership has been established for the management of a cultural institution. In February 2003, an agreement was signed between the Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
The Museum was established in 1872 as the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay. As Mumbai’s first Museum, it showcases the city’s cultural heritage and history through a rare collection of Fine and Decorative Arts that highlight Early Modern Art practices as well as the craftsmanship of various communities of the Bombay Presidency. The permanent collection includes miniature clay models, dioramas, maps, lithographs, photographs, and rare books that document the life of the people of Mumbai and the history of the city from the late eighteenth to early-twentieth centuries.
The Museum, once in a derelict condition, underwent a comprehensive five-year restoration and won UNESCO’s 2005 Award of Excellence in the field of Cultural Conservation. The Museum re-opened in 2008 with an extensive exhibition program and is committed to promoting contemporary art and culture.
The Museum has collaborated with other museums and cultural institutions from around the world to showcase contemporary artists and international exhibitions that relate to the Museum’s permanent collection.
In December of 2012, the Museum introduced a dynamic cultural hub, the Museum Plaza, which offers the public a recreational space for performances, outdoor activities, and workshops. The Museum has restored and re-appropriated abandoned spaces to accommodate a Special Projects Space, Museum Cafe, Museum Shop and an Education Centre.
The Museum has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan, supported by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and private donors, which includes developing a new wing adjoining the Museum Plaza. Facilities will include a Mumbai Modern Gallery, a state of the art Special Exhibitions Gallery to host national and international exhibitions, an auditorium, a learning centre, expanded library and archives, a conservation centre, staff and visitor amenities like cafes and shops. The new wing is expected to be ready by 2018.