History of the Collection

History of the Collection
MAP is home to one of the largest collections in India, dating from the 10th century to the present.

Founded by Abhishek Poddar in the year 2016, The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) in Bangalore aims to take art and culture into the heart of the community through its state-of-the-art building on Kasturba Road. 

As one of India’s most prominent collectors, Abhishek Poddar has acquired an extensive collection of Indian art, photography and textiles over the past three decades, which forms the nucleus of MAP’s collection. Poddar’s keen interest in art was cultivated early on in his childhood having grown up amidst a formidable collection of ancient and modern Indian art. Throughout his journey, he formed several personal relationships with Indian artists, of which the most significant was his friendship with the artist Manjit Bawa. Bawa mentored the young collector and introduced him to the works of many other leading modern artists at the time, such as Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, Arpita Singh and J. Swaminathan, most of whom are important names in MAP’s current collection.

A Museum is Born

Inspired by his travels and visits to museums around the world, Poddar was eager to revive the cultural landscape of the city of Bengaluru, and to pioneer a museum-going culture for children and adults. This is how the ambitious project of MAP was born. In December 2016, Christie’s held an auction of a major chunk of the Poddar family’s personal collection, and the funds acquired were used to drive forward his vision. This major contribution also encouraged the establishment of MAP’s Gifts Programme, which allowed for donations of artworks by other patrons and artists, such as Deepak Puri, Jyoti Bhatt, and Barbara Kipper. Today, MAP is custodian to a growing collection of over 18,000 artworks that take viewers on a comprehensive journey of Indian art and culture. 

Set to open its doors to the public in 2021, MAP officially launched one of the first digital museums in the country in December 2020, taking the museum one step closer to achieving its mission of inclusion and accessibility, and making the collection available to a diverse range of audiences around the globe.