Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, just became the first Indian trustee of the prestigious 149-year-old US museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA), in New York.
Daniel Brodsky, Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, welcomed her on the board, saying Nita’s commitment towards preserving and promoting India’s art and culture has left “an enormous impact on the Museum’s ability to study and display art from every corner of the world”.
Nita Ambani began supporting the museum in 2016 while working on the Nasreen Mohamedi exhibition. It was the first museum retrospective of the artist's work in the US, and also one of The Met Breuer's inaugural exhibitions.
Nita, a Rashtriya Khel Protsahan awardee and the wife of the wealthiest man in Asia Mukesh Ambani, appreciated the museum’s keen interest in Indian arts and culture. “It inspires me to redouble my efforts on behalf of India’s heritage, from the ancient to the contemporary,” she said.
The Reliance Foundation, which has been supporting initiatives exploring and celebrating Indian arts and culture since 2017, has stood with many exhibitions including the Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs (October 11, 2017–January 2, 2018).
In September this year, the foundation backed the first comprehensive showcase of Mrinalini Mukherjee’s work in the US, called Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee.
Other exhibitions that will benefit from this sponsorship include the upcoming Tree and Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 B.C.–A.D. 400, opening on November 10, 2020, at The Met Fifth Avenue, along with exhibitions covering topics as 17th-century Mughal art and contemporary Indian sculpture.
Besides these, the foundation has also supported cultural events such as The Elephanta Festival, musician Zakir Hussain’s annual concert Abbaji, among others.
Led by Nita, Reliance Foundation has also supported the presentation Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Notably, the foundation claims to have impacted more than 34 million Indians through its programmes in health, education, sports for development, disaster response, among others.
The foundation’s Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship has extended financial support to 12,000 students to pursue higher education and nearly half of the beneficiaries are girls.