Documenting Air India's Legacy, One Picture At A Time

The exhibition at Nehru Centre has been designed by Huzoor Choudhary and the photographs are curated by Meera Das.

Documenting Air India's Legacy, One Picture At A Time

'The Maharaja of the Skies: An Indian Heritage' is a rare glimpse into how culturally and artistically diverse Air India is. Air India has the largest aircraft art collection with over 8,000 artefacts and 2,200 photographs. In this 3-day exhibition that is held at Nehru Centre in Worli, visitors can witness Air India's 90-year legacy. 

Huzoor Choudhary is the designer of the exhibition and the photographs are curated by Meera Das who is also the secretary of Society for Culture and Environment along with being one of the founding members of Bhopal Literature Festival. Talking about the purpose behind the exhibition, Meera Das said, 

"Air India and JRD Tata have so many facets that it needs to be reminded again and again. This exhibition showcases pictures from the archives, which are inaccessible otherwise. This exhibition has something in store for everyone, but it is un-missable for people in scholarly interest in the history of India's aviation. It contains posters, diaries, menu cards, calendars, sales letter, posters, bag tags of Air India. Every small thing has a story in itself. It is not just about Air India, it is about the aviation history of the country." 

Air India had its own art studio on the 18th floor wherein they had glass paintings, sculptures, wooden work, textiles among others. Some of the most notable works are renowned artist B. Prabha's paintings, Salvador Dali's ashtray, Academy Award winner Bhanu Athaiya's costume design etc. 

Uttara Parikh who has retired from Air India 21 years ago and was the former Advertising Head spoke about how Air India's Maharaja was the epitome of advertising in the 90s. Adding to it, she said, "Maharaja was a living mascot and its branding strategies are case studies in many Business Schools. Its caricature was made by R.K. Laxman." 

Also Read: Each sunrise hopes to see the blue and yellow stripes soaring across the skies again: Capt Tapesh Kumar, Commander, Boeing 737 at Jet Airways

Here's what you can expect from the exhibition: 

There are 10 sections with 125 panels, following are some of the sections: 

  • Art Collection 
  • Fleet and Engineering 
  • Service Mission 
  • Maharajah 
  • Booking Offices 
  • Advertising and Promotional material of Air India
  • Inflight services
  • Cargo 

What: Air India Exhibition 

When: 13th to 16th February; Closing ceremony- 17th February at 12:30 pm

Where: Nehru Centre, Worli