Director General’s Desk
It gives me immense pleasure to share with you that on 10th January, 2022 CMSVS completed its 100 years’ glorious journey – a landmark, not only in the history of the Museum but for the cultural movement of the country. The Museum was an outcome of a strong desire expressed by the public of Bombay (Mumbai) long ago. It was Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Sir Ibrahim Rahimtulla and Sir Vithaldas Thackersay who understood the cultural requirement of early 20th century Bombay and suggested to the then British Government (Bombay Presidency) to establish a public museum with an objective that the set up should be educational and not a mere show museum.
As some of you know, the Museum building was designed and built by the Scottish architect George Wittet in the Indo- Saracenic style. It was used as a war hospital during the First World War (1914) and once again as a major hospital during the pandemic (influenza) in 1918-1920 and was renamed after Lady Hardinge War Hospital. It was on 10th January 1922 that the Museum opened its doors to the public with a speech by the then Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. J.T. Brander, stating the purpose of the Museum as, “It should be largely an institution or foundation for promoting research in all branches of science and knowledge and not only a museum of curiosities for the sightseer”.
In these last 100 years, it has fulfilled its aim to create awareness and sensitivity towards our heritage through its acquisitions, collection research, a visitor-friendly experience for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. Particularly, in the last decade, the Museum has been transformed into a world-class visitor space. Today, it is one of the most sought-after institutions known for best museum practice, international collaborations and trend-setting projects. It welcomes over a million visitors every year who experience a sense of joy, pride and understanding of human achievement when they stroll through our galleries and our beautiful heritage garden. When the pandemic was raging, CSMVS provided many joyful and enriching experiences to its audiences online. We played our role in healing society.
CSMVS was the brainchild of prominent citizens of the city and continues to be an excellent example of community participation even in the present. Even during the challenging time of the pandemic, our supporters continue to invest in culture through us for greater dividends.
Secretary, Board Of Trustees(CSMVS)
Director, Postgraduate (Diploma) Program in Museology & Conservation
Dr Sabyasachi Mukherjee is Director General of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, a premier cultural institution and museum in India, and part of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble UNESCO World Heritage site. He is also Director of the Postgraduate (Diploma) Programme in Museology and Art Conservation at CSMVS affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Under his leadership from 2007, CSMVS has undergone extensive modernisation, including refurbishment of the museum’s main building, its comprehensive conservation-restoration; the establishment of a well-equipped Conservation Centre, a new Children’s Museum, an institutional archive, new galleries; and several research and educational initiatives. In 2010, in recognition of his initiatives, UNESCO awarded the museum the 2010 Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation. He has organised numerous art exhibitions and international shows, written and overseen publications, and devised conservation projects, exchange programmes and archive projects in partnership with museums worldwide. A frequent lecturer and active member of many professional committees, more particularly, the Bizot Group (a distinguished group of international museum directors), and the Steering Committee of the UK–AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), he has also been a fellow of the Nehru Trust and the Salzburg Global Seminar. He lends his expertise to various academic institutions, and is on the Bihar Museum Advisory Committee, Patna; the Executive Committee of the National Maritime Heritage Complex, Lothal; the Executive Committee, Western Zone, National Council of Science Museums; the Executive Committee, Kala Ghoda Association; the Board of Studies of Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Mumbai; and the Board of Studies of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. The Bombay Management Association conferred ‘Special Jury Mention Award 2016–17’ on him in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the preservation of Indian culture and enhancing the glory of the museum, and the Rotary Club of Mumbai conferred upon him the ‘Citizen of Mumbai 2021-22’ award for his outstanding work in the field of culture. The University of Edinburgh has conferred upon him the degree of Doctor ‘honoris causa’ for the transformation of CSMVS to a vibrant, engaged, cultural catalyst in Mumbai. He is also an elected International Honorary Member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2022.