Located in Alibag, an hour’s boat ride from Mumbai, the Museum showcases the works of Padmashri Dashrath Patel. He was the first director of education of The National Institute of Design, (NID-Ahmedabad) and is among India’s senior artists – a contemporary of Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Husain who were all together in the late fifties, at the Bhulabhai Desai Institute at Bombay.
He has closely collaborated with outstanding luminaries like Charles Eames, Louis Kahn, Henri Cartier Bresson, Frei Otto, Harendranath Chattopadhyaya, Chandralekha, and countless others.
Together, they hope to create activities and events on weekends, where
creative minded people can meet each other in a non competitive and inspiring setting to grow from each other’s experiences.
Dashrath’s uncanny understanding of space, light, form, colour and texture and their interconnectivities has enabled him to produce an amazing array of work in oils, watercolours, drawings and collages.At 80, he moved into digital media!
Even though each medium and its imagery were perfectly evolved, he resisted the need to formalise that particular body of work as ‘his style’, and risk getting type cast or iconified. His work was his ‘search’ and he is still actively following that ideology.
In 1957 Dashrath won a fellowship to study in Chzechoslovakia under the personal guidance of Prof. Eckert. After learning technical production,which he used later in product design, he began to explore other possibilities which resulted in the creation of many art forms.
“In my first art show in Gallery Barbizon in Paris in 1952, a gentleman walked in with a Leica M3 hanging like a necklace around his neck. After seeing my exhibition he asked me if i took pictures. I told him that i did not like photography.” He said “you see well, i can show you how to use my camera”
“I agreed and did exactly what he had suggested. A fortnight later he invited me to his house for dinner to meet his wife who had studied Bharat Natyam in India. That evening awakened my interest in photography and also started a fifty year friendship with a legend called Henri Cartier Bresson.”
Dashrath Patel was the first Director of Design & Education of The National Institute of Design, (NID Ahmedabad) and was closely associated with the institute for a period of nineteen formative years.During this period he interacted closely with stalwarts such as Charles Eames, Louis Kahn, George Nakashima, Buckminster Fuller, William Hayter, Herbert Matter, Frei Otto, Robert Rauschenberg, Leo Leoni, Saul Bass, Ivan Chermayeff, Jeroslav Fric, John Cage, Chandralekha, Gautam Sarabhai, and Gira Sarabhai, among others.