Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) is one of the premier cultural institutions of the country. It is located on a crescent shaped site in the southern tip of Mumbai and was designed by the Scottish architect George Wittet in 1909. It is one of the best examples of Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture with the Indian pillared hall, the arched pavilion and the dome rising above the large intersecting arches form a beautiful geometrical pattern. The Museum is a Grade I heritage building and was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai.
Today the Museum projects itself as a dynamic cultural institution that presents its rich and expansive collections across 17 well-designed galleries on three floors and the charbagh gardens. Collections spanning nearly 5000 years of Indian art and 30,000 years of archaeology are represented here alongside world collections from China, Japan and Europe. Regular exhibitions and partnerships with Indian and foreign museums help present new ideas for the public to learn and enjoy. Education is at the heart of the Museum’s pursuit. In 2019, CSMVS opened Mumbai’s first Children’s Museum. Nestled amidst a grove of trees on the same campus, the Children’s Museum is a contemporary structure offering a wide range of activities and programmes for children including exhibitions, workshops and festivals. It aims at helping children think critically about their world around. The Museum’s flagship programme – Museum on Wheels, takes exhibitions across Maharashtra and Gujarat to schools and educational institutions in a travelling bus. In 2019, a second bus was added to the fleet ensuring that the initiative reaches out to nearly 1 million children across India. In an endeavour to provide a wholesome experience for its visitors, the Museum also organizes a range of cultural programmes – music concerts, dance performances and theatre featuring stalwart artists of the country. The CSMVS Museum Art Conservation Centre, set up in 2008 is a state-of-the-art facility that protects and conserves the precious collections of the Museum. It also assists other museums in India, Asia and Europe, Kuwait and Oman, to name a few, in conserving their objects. In 2019, CSMVS became the first museum to receive the Platinum Certification from the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) for being a Green Building that efficiently incorporates solar energy, water harvesting and waste management.
CSMVS is a museum for the people, by the people. Looking to the future, the museum will focus on an enhanced digital presence, a more intimate experience of the arts, selected impactful projects, key international partnerships and immersive experiences for our audiences, projecting itself as a Museum of Ideas reflecting on contemporary concerns through museum collections and programmes.