Contribution of M M Mehta at Sir J J School of Arts
This Artist is part of the legacy of the renowned J. J. School of Art, which was founded in March 1857, with the generous donation offered by Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy, the first Baronet.
J.J. has given India some of its revolutionary artists making a global impact on art like Vasudev Gaitonde, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta, Jeram Patel, Prabhakar Barve, Prabhakar Kolte among others. Having strong legacies of European as well as Indian art techniques, the students get the milieu of both in order to generate their own strong methodology of working, unique styles, adapting to the changing times.
Sir J.J. School of Art is one of the pioneering institutes of fine art education in India and stands today in its heritage building. This rare hundred year old collection of art, created by the Artist M M Mehta in 1916, showcases architectural glimpses of this heritage building. The artist has donned the architect’s hat and beautifully captured facets of the building on paper..
He was a teacher besides a talented artist and has a history of designing curriculum books on art to his credit. For instance curriculum books like “Free Drawing” which contain numerous illustrations by Mr. M.M. Mehta and Mr. V.S. Adurkar were popular, widely circulated and vetted by W.E. Gladstone Soloman, Director of Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay, 6th March 1934.
Rare collection of exquisite charcoal artworks on paper from a bygone era
"When I saw these artworks, I was stunned by the fine work in charcoal created a hundred years ago. The well conserved paper itself has intrinsic artistic value as does the detailing seen in the creations." says the curator Jalpa Vithalani. Considering the limitations of the medium, it speaks volumes about the mastery of the artist even in that era. M M Mehta's exquisite collection has been well preserved for a century by the Artist's descendant – Mr Bakulesh Vakil, who enthusiastically describes how he has inherited this collection from the talented artist; who was related on both sides of the family, being his father's mother's brother & his grandmother's sister's son.
Many renowned artists, almost all artists for that matter, have dabbled in charcoal over this century and have created magic in their own ways. These rare stunning artworks give us the opportunity to witness, how the style of work in charcoal has evolved over these hundred years.
M M Mehta's artworks have intricate details, showing his command, not only in drawing but also his mastery over the control of the medium. We will rarely get to see this perfection in today's times.
This will hold a special place in the collection of any serious art lover or museum. Even the fabric designs he created journey us back to the styles & fashion of that era. Interestingly these designs are still relevant even after this span of hundred years and can be applied for any textile or fashion creations.
It is a privilege to showcase these rare works of a bygone era and celebrate M M Mehta. A complete century & a full circle!
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