As India’s National Academy of Art, the Lalit Kala Akademi, ever since its inception, has been pioneering the many paths of Indian contemporary art, through its chosen agenda. The institution has been involved in identifying and showcasing visual art. The Lalit Kala Akademi has become a keeper of the historicity of Indian art and its interaction with the contemporary art practices worldwide.
In post Independence India, teaching of modern art education, preservation and promotion of different arts ranging from traditional to contemporary were taken up as most important art activities of several institutions. For last six decades, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi has been organising different exhibitions and making collection of art works. In course of time, the collection has been grown up when the Akademi in addition to Annual Exhibition added works from the Art Fair (Kala Mela), Workshops/Camps, Artists Aid Fund (AAF) and Chairman’s Discretionary Funds to help needy artists. Akademi has been able to collect works from several regions of the country. The Akademi has preserved a collection over seven thousand artworks from collecting the above sources.
Akademi’s collection presents a synoptic history of Indian art over the past sixty years. It comprises the works of eminent Painters and masters of Indian contemporary art like, M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta, G.R. Santosh, K.K. Hebbar, V.S. Gaitonde, K.G. Subramanyan, Ramkinkar Baij, Satish Gujral, P. Gopinath, Krishan Khanna, Dinanath Pathy, Arpita Singh and many others.
Akademi has extended its ideas to promote the vast field of sculptural art of the Indian contemporary artists. The sculptors from the all corners of India have placed their contributions for the richness of the Akademi’s Collection and those sculptors have become the legendary icons in the field of sculpture. The sculptors like P.V. Janakiran, Dhanraj Bhagat, Bipul Kanti Saha, Piloo Pochkanawala, T.R.P. Mookiah, Raghav Kaneria, Rajni Kant Panchal, Nagji Bhai Patel, Anila Jacob, M. Davierwala, Dhruv Mistry, Phul Chand Pyne have highlighted the marvellous art collection of the Lalit Kala Akademi.
After the emergence of graphic Art in India during 19th & 20th Centuries, the Graphic Art or the Print making process had been highly flourished in this country. To promote the Graphic Art and the Print Makers, Akademi had started the collection of graphic Prints like Etching, Lithography, Woodcut, Linocut etc. for its Permanent collection. The famous and popular contemporary Print Makers like Somnath Hore, Sanat Kar, Anupam Sud, Ram Kinkar Baij, Binod Behari Mukherjee, Shyam Sharma, K.K. Hebbar, Krishna Reddy, Chittoprasad Bhattacharya, Kanwal Krishna, Jagmohan Chopra and many others had given their participation for the development of Akademi’s collection.
Akademi has never isolated those creative artists who have been involved in the field of Photography. After collecting the creative photographs of master photographers like Raghu Rai, Pran Lal Patel, N. Thyagarajan, N.K. Dixit, T. Kashi Nath and many others, the Akademi’s collection has been highlighted its academic reputations.