9 Reasons To Love The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
IT’S HOUSED IN A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING
The oldest museum in Mumbai, the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum (formerly the Victoria & Albert Museum) cocoons collections that showcase the city’s cultural and industrial heritage within an impressive edifice on the city zoo grounds. This two-storey structure, with its Palladian exterior, high Victorian interior, Corinthian columns, detailed woodwork, etched glass and gold ceiling, along with Minton tiled floors, is a well-preserved testament to 19th century architecture.
IT OFFERS FREE PUBLIC TOURS
The museum organises free public tours on weekends. The tours are conducted in English and Hindi or Marathi.
IT’S GOT RARE TREASURES
The curated repertoire includes a vast collection of archaeological finds, maps and historical photographs of Mumbai, day and silver models, pottery and paintings. Its permanent collection includes miniature clay models, dioramas, maps, lithographs, rare documents and books that capture life in the erstwhile city of Bombay in the 19th century.
IT’S GOT GREAT WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS
The museum organises workshops tor children thrice a month, designed around the permanent collections, at which young enthusiasts could learn the art of raagmala painting or how to throw a pot. Pre-registration is a must. Adults can also sign up to learn to make terrariums, films on their phone, or go on a photo walk around the Byculla neighbourhood.
IT ORGANISES SCAVENGER HUNTS!
In a bid to open up the museum space to a younger demographic, the museum puts together scavenger hunts tor children, with clues revolving around the building’s collections. Other activities include the Byculla for Kids Walks, and story-writing sessions for kids and adults.
IT SCREENS MOVIES!
The Movies at the Museum series hosts public screenings of art movies, documentaries, and animation movies in association with the Alliance Francais of Mumbai and the Consulate General of Canada.
IT HOSTS INTERESTING TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS
There’s always a great photography or natural history exhibition or some other installation awaiting your attention.
IT’S GOT COOL MERCH
The revamped Museum Shop is, happily, a trove of wares you’ll want to take home, inspired by many of the historical items on display, you’ll find calendars, notepads and tote bags engraved with images of old Bombay, boxes with enamel paintings and filigree work and, of course, postcards and envelopes with designs harking back to a rich past.
IT OFFERS INTERNSHIPS AND DOCENTCOURSES
Don’t be surprised if your tour guide looks a little young. The museum offers internships and docent courses to young adults and adults with an interest in history, art history and design, and in the workings of a museum. The year-long courses otter them a chance to participate in research activities and curation, and lead a museum tour for the public.