The Art & Photography Foundation's trustees and advisory panel members bring together years of experience and expertise in fields ranging from the arts, cultural leadership and business to diplomacy.  

 

Arundhati Nag is a prominent polyglot actor and theatre personality, who has been involved with multilingual theatre in India for over 25 years. She is the founder and Managing Trustee of the Sanket Trust that runs Ranga Shankara, a theatre in Bangalore. Nag has also been involved in several television and film projects, and has received both the Karnataka State Film Award (1985) and the National Film Award (2010). Nag has been presented the Padma Shri (2010) by the President of India for her untiring efforts and tremendous achievements in the Arts, and also conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Theatre Acting (2008) by India’s National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Abhishek Poddar is a businessman, and prominent collector and patron of the arts in India. Poddar is involved in various family group companies with diverse interests and also serves on the advisory committees of several cultural institutions including the Deccan Heritage Foundation and FIND (Foundation Inde-Europe de Nouveaux Dialogues or the India-Europe Foundation for New Dialogues) headquartered in Rome.

Radhika Poddar is a patron of Indian art and design, and has been an important part of the formation of the Museum of Art & Photography and the documentation of its core collection. She is involved in the running of various family group companies, as well as being the vision behind Cinnamon, a lifestyle store with branches in Cochin and Bangalore. Through Cinnamon she promotes Indian design by retailing and commissioning collections by traditional craftspeople, as well as contemporary Indian designers.

Nirupama Rao is the former Indian Foreign Secretary (2009 – 2011) and Ambassador of India to the United States of America (2011- 2013). Working in the Indian Foreign Service from 1973 to 2011, she has served in various capacities in several countries across the world, and was the first woman to be appointed as the Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Ambassador to China. Mrs. Rao has been a Fellow at Harvard University and Brown University. In 2014, she also received the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship, in connection with her ongoing book project on the diplomatic history of relations between India and China.

Board of Trustees

 

Amin Jaffer is Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, an encyclopaedic holding of over 6,000 works of art. Previously Senior Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, he has authored Furniture from British India and Ceylon (2001), Luxury Goods from India (2002), Made for Maharajas: a Design Diary of Princely India (2006). Jaffer was co-curator of the exhibitions Encounters: the Meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500–1800 (2004) and Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts (2009) at the V&A, and co-editor of the associated books. He was also co-curator of From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from The Al Thani Collectionat the Grand Palais, Paris (2017) and curator of Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas: The Al Thani Collection at the Doge’s Palace, Venice (2017) and Treasures from The Al Thani Collection(2018) at the Palace Museum, Beijing.

Amrita Jhaveri has been working in the field of Modern and Contemporary Indian art since 1993. Having established Christie’s presence in India in the mid-1990s, she moved to London in 2000 and began to build her private collection of art from which she has loaned to museums worldwide. She has worked as an independent advisor, creating and managing private and corporate art collections; ambitious artist’s projects and large-scale commissions. In 2010, she established Jhaveri Contemporary, a gallery of Modern and Contemporary art, in Mumbai. Her research interests have resulted in exhibitions such as Thinking Tantra and South Asian Modernists, 1953- 63, and she is the author of 101: A Guide to 101 Modern and Contemporary Indian Artists.

Arundhati Ghosh is the Executive Director of the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), and sits on various Boards and Advisory Panels including those of the Beyond Sight Foundation and the Seagull Foundation for the Arts. In 2010, Ghosh received the first Global Fundraiser Award instituted by Resource Alliance International. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Gurukul Scholarship for Leadership and Excellence at the London School of Economics, London; and was awarded the Chevening Clore Leadership Awards for 2015-2016, working with the National Theatre in London to recommend a strategy for their national reach over the next 3 to 5 years.

Atul Satija is the Founder & CEO of The/Nudge Foundation. After 17 years of starting, scaling and turning around various businesses in some of the largest and most respected organisations globally, he started The/Nudge Foundation to fulfil his passion of working on inequality and social issues facing India. Previously their Chief Business Officer, responsible for global sales, marketing, business development and operations, he now serves as the CEO of The/Nudge as well as GiveIndia. Satija has also served in various general management, business development and sales roles across telecom and technology companies including Adobe, Samsung and Infosys; and as Chairperson for EndPoverty, a non-profit working on various poverty-related issues including water, sanitation, education, skill-development, sustainability and women empowerment, whose board he remains on. He was named in the #40underForty list by The Economic Times in 2017.

Ayesha Bulchandani began her career as an entrepreneur with a focus on fashion accessories under the label Soul & Accent Designs, New York. However, since 2010, she has grown more committed to philanthropic endeavours and been instrumental in pioneering initiatives in education, providing students and young professionals from diverse backgrounds the opportunity and exposure to the visual arts and classical performing arts professions. As a trustee of the Frick Collection, she launched new initiatives for paid graduate and undergraduate internship programs and educational dance and music performances. Her focus has been on using harmony in music and visual art programs to build bridges in creating a world of understanding between diverse religions and faith groups. Bulchandani is also an avid collector of religious Russian Icons; Contemporary Indian art and antiquities; Baroque paintings: namely Neapolitan-Spanish and Flemish Baroque works; as well as 17th and 18th century French and Italian works.

B. N. Goswamy is an Indian art historian and critic, best known for his scholarship on Indian miniature paintings, particularly Pahari painting, and the author of over twenty books on arts and culture including Nainsukh of Guler: A Great Indian Painter from a Small Hill-State, Pahari Masters: Court Painters of Northern India, Painters at the Sikh Court, and Masters of Indian Painting 1100-1900. A recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bushan, Goswamyhas previously taught at Punjab University, Chandigarh, where he also developed its Museum of Fine Arts as director. He has also served as visiting faculty at various international universities; been a member of the Governing Committee of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR); chaired the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi; and served as vice chairman of the Sarabhai Foundation that runs the Calico Museum of Textiles.

Jorrit Britschgi is the Executive Director of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, dedicated to connecting visitors with the art and ideas of the Himalayan region. He is an historian of Asian art and an experienced museum professional, striving to expand public awareness and appreciation of Asian art and culture. Previously, he served as Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Rubin Museum, Head of Exhibition at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich and Curator of Indian Painting at the Museum Rietberg. An alumnus of the Getty Leadership Institute, he has organised numerous exhibitions and publications and is managing publisher of Artibus Asiae, a leading journal of Asian Art and Archaeology.

Jyotindra Jain is the former Director of Crafts Museum; Professor and Dean at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, all New Delhi, and currently the Director and Managing Trustee of CIViC: Centre for Indian Visual Culture, New Delhi. He was an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow, a Homi Bhabha Fellow, a Visiting Professor at Harvard University and a Rudolf-Arnheim Visiting Professor at Humboldt University in Berlin. He has extensively published and curated exhibitions on Indian vernacular arts as well as popular visual culture. Prof. Jain is also recipient of the 1998 Prince Claus Award for his contribution to Indian arts and culture.

Mitchell A. K. Crites is an American art historian, who has lived, researched and worked in India and across the Islamic world for more than forty-five years. His primary focus has been the revival of traditional South Asian and Islamic arts and crafts, about which he regularly writes and lectures. He has coordinated a number of prestigious art and architectural projects, working with thousands of artists, carvers and calligraphers to realise them, including Lakshmi Mittal’s home in London, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the restoration of the historic Jal Mahal Water Palace in Jaipur. Crites also serves as senior cultural advisor to the Turquoise Mountain Institute for the revival of traditional Afghan and Saudi arts and crafts.

M. Lakshminarayanan is the former Managing Partner (Tax) for Deloitte India (2007 – 2015). A graduate in mathematics from Kerala University and a Chartered Accountant by qualification, he joined Fraser & Ross, a legacy firm of Deloitte in India, in 1971 as an intern. During his 44 year tenure with Deloitte and its legacy firm, he accumulated a varied experience, leading multiple financial advisory and forensic projects; as well as serving as Audit Partner, Chief Ethical Officer/Risk & Reputation Leader and Managing Partner (Bangalore office) prior to taking on the role of Managing Partner (Tax). Lakshminarayanan was also a member of the Board of Deloitte India, Deloitte India Executive Committee and Deloitte Asia Pacific Tax Executive Committee; further, serving as the Chairman of the International Tax Council of ASSOCHAM.

Naman P. Ahuja is a curator of Indian art, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and Co-Editor of Marg Publications. He was curator of Indian sculpture at the British Museum in 2001, and contributed to the exhibition and catalogue of Divine Presence: The Arts of India and the Himalayas at Casa Asia in Barcelona in 2003. He has curated a number of exhibitions on classical and contemporary art including the critically acclaimed The Body in Indian Art and Thought (2013) and India and the World: A History in Nine Stories (2018, co-curated with J. B. Hill). His studies on terracottas, ivories and small finds have drawn attention to the foundations of Indian iconography and transcultural exchanges at an everyday, quotidian level. His publications include The Making of the Modern Indian Artist Craftsman: Devi Prasad (2011) and The Art and Archaeology of Ancient India, Earliest times to the sixth century (2018).

Nick Merriman is the Director and CEO of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a nationally-funded museum of world culture and environments in London. Formerly the Director of the Manchester Museum (2006–2018), Merriman doubled the number of its visitors through focusing its mission on promoting understanding between cultures, refurbishing most of the permanent galleries, and spearheaded the development of a major new wing including a large gallery on South Asian history and culture. He is an Honorary Professor of Museum Studies at the University of Manchester, and has published widely on museum topics. He has also served as Chair of the International Council of Museums (UK, 2001–2004), President of the Council for British Archaeology (2005–2008), Chair of the University Museums Group (2009–2013), Convenor of the Museums Association’s Ethics Committee (2008–2014) and Chair of the Collections Trust (2014–2017).

Lekha Poddar is a philanthropist, businesswoman and art collector. Among other initiatives, she is recognised for her instrumental role in setting up ‘Textile Arts of India’, an organisation created to promote excellence in traditional handloom weaving in the country. With friends, she restored and set up the Neemrana Fort Palace Hotel near Alwar, Rajasthan. In 2000, along with her son, Anupam Poddar, Devigarh—an 18th century Fort Palace outside Udaipur, Rajasthan—was also restored and launched as a hotel. Harnessing her passion for South Asian art, Poddar further founded the Devi Art Foundation with her son. Established in 2008, the Devi Art Foundation has held fourteen major exhibitions till date, and is now involved in arts education to a smaller scale.

Richard Blurton trained as an archaeologist and has worked on excavations in Afghanistan and southern India. In 1986 he joined the British Museum, retiring as Head of the South and Southeast Asia Section in September 2018. In this time, he presented more than sixteen exhibitions including The Enduring Image in 1997, in collaboration with the British Council, which was seen in both New Delhi and Mumbai. His last three exhibitions were concerned with Bengal (2006), Arunachal Pradesh (2008) and Assam (2016). He has published a series of books through British Museum Press, the last of which was Krishna in the Garden of Assam. In both 1992 and in 2017 he worked on new presentations of the Museum’s South Asia collections in the Hotung Gallery, with the 2017 version bringing the collection up to the present century. He is also a Trustee of the Ancient India and Iran Trust, in Cambridge.

Rolf Fehlbaum is Chairman Emeritus and active Member of the Board of Directors of Vitra, a family-owned furniture company with headquarters in Birsfelden, Switzerland. Before becoming CEO and later Chairman of Vitra, Fehlbaum was active in the production of art editions, documentary films and architectural education. During his tenure at Vitra, he established relationships with many of the world’s leading designers and developed projects with Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Alvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA, all of whom designed buildings for the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. An avid collector of twentieth-century furniture, Fehlbaum founded the Vitra Design Museum in 1989, which is now considered one of the foremost institutions in its field.

Sanjeev Kumar is a respected numismatist and author whose encyclopaedic book and research on the coinage of the Gupta Empire is a comprehensive and widely-referenced book for the history and gold coins from the 4th-6th century AD. As an expert on the ancient coinage of India, Kumar provides guidance to museums worldwide. He is Chairman of the Shivlee Trust, which supports the preservation and study of Indian history, art and artefacts. Prior to his retirement, Kumar spent 32 years in international finance and private equity as Chairman and Managing Director for Shivlee Holdings Ltd., which owned and operated companies in USA, Canada, China and India. He is also a founding trustee of the Bharatiya temple of Northwest Indiana, USA as well as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain.

Thomas Girst is the global Head of Cultural Engagement at the BMW Group, a position he has occupied since 2003. Formerly the head of the Art Science Research Laboratory in New York under the directorship of Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard University, Girst studied art history, American Studies and German literature at Hamburg University and New York University. In 2016, he was made recipient of the “European Cultural Manager of the Year” award. His prominent publications include Art, Literature, and the Japanese American Internment, The Indefinite DuchampThe Duchamp DictionaryBMW Art Cars100 Secrets of the Art World.

Advisory Panel