The Jehangir Art Gallery, founded and donated by Sir Cowasji Jehangir-the 2nd Bart is located in South Bombay (Mumbai) in the heart of the fort area or the historic core of the city. Over the years, this area has evolved as the center of art activity in the city, a phenomenon triggered off in the 1950s with the establishing of the Jehangir Art Gallery. As a rendezvous point for artists, patrons and art lovers, the Jehangir Art Gallery complex over the years became a nationally recognized centre of contemporary India art.
On 21 January 1952, The Chief Minister, Mr. B G Kher formally inaugurated the Jehangir Art Gallery, dedicated to the memory of Sir Cowasji’s late son, Jehangir. Since the 1990 renovations, the Managing Committee with its Secretary, Mrs. Karthiayani Menon, has consolidated its many activities and evolved several strategies for the future. The Jehangir Art Gallery now has two halls with modern amenities, suitably equipped for exhibitions of the visual arts – the Auditorium and the Exhibition Gallery. The Auditorium Hall has about 2,700 square feet of floor area and hanging wall space of approximately 180 running feet. The Exhibition Gallery, with a floor area of about 3,700 square feet and hanging wall space of about 370 running feet is equipped with climate control and a security system. This Gallery is normally divided into three sections and can be hired fully or section-wise. A special Booking Committee consisting of senior artists and art critics, meet twice a year to make allotment of the galleries. In the year 2010, Hirji Jehangir Gallery was inaugurated on the 1st floor. It has a floor area of about 1,408 square feet and has a hanging wall space of about 173 running feet. In the year 2012, Terrace Gallery for Photography and Visual Art which is situated on the Terrace and has a floor area of 650 square feet and hanging wall space of about 130 running feet. It was inaugurated by Generous Munificence of Shri Kakubhai Kothari & Family and Z. B. Sethna were the Architects. In the same year, Auditorium Hall was also renovated and air conditioned which was generously supported by M.R. Morarka Foundation and Z. B. Sethna were the Architects as well.
The Gallery often sponsors an annual exhibition known as the Monsoon Art Show to showcase the works of artists of proven merit. A scheme of honoring senior artists of distinction through prestigious shows has also been initiated as a source of enjoyment for art lovers and artists.
As the area around the Gallery has gained greater significance as an Art District and other facilities are being established in the vicinity, the Jehangir Art Gallery will have to continually reinvent its services and amenities in response to contemporary needs. Today the Gallery faces a huge shortage of space for its own facilities and expansion plans – especially as it recognizes that support facilities such as the shop or the lending library are also committed to the encouragement of art itself. How it juggles these aspirations within the constraints of space pressures is the challenge the Gallery faces for the future.
Art Appreciation courses, aimed at strengthening rapport between the artists and the public, have been designed mainly for layman who enjoy art. The Gallery has organized several programmes on Art Appreciation, Art History and Art Criticism, with a small fee charged to participants.