Museum objects are time machines. They allow us a peek into a civilisation long past or bring us close to today’s issues. Mumbai: A City through Objects tells the story of a city through unique objects in the collection of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay. The city and the Museum developed together, each inflecting the other’s evolution. Like all great global cities, Mumbai has an extraordinary history which many writers have explored. No one has, however, interpreted the city through its artefacts, and the objects that were produced by its many craftsmen, which bespeak the efforts of the many ordinary people who participated as much as its great heroes in its making.
Like the city, the Museum too has experienced a metamorphosis. It won UNESCO’s 2005 Asia Pacific Award for a comprehensive restoration and has pioneered contemporary art exhibitions that are presented in the historic space as a rebuttal to colonial exclusionary politics. It has won many awards for achievements and is recognised as a leader among museums in India.