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Making of a Museum: From Passion to Institution

Date: 17th November

Time: 3:15pm to 4:15pm


A conversation that follows the evolution of a passion into an art collection and is now, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, an iconic South Asian Museum. Panelists will delve into the cultural corridor that has been created by collaborating with international institutions, curators, spaces and biennales, thereby giving voice and shape to South Asian and diaspora contemporary artists in a rapidly transforming geo-political and economic context. 


Kiran Nadar

Roobina Karode

Deepanjana Klein


Asad Lalljee

About the Speakers


Kiran Nadar is the Chairperson of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation. In 2010 she established the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), established in 2010. She has also been instrumental in helping set up the Shiv Nadar Foundation. Nadar is a member of the Rasaja Foundation which has been involved in a joint initiative with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation to promote the education of the Dalit and Muslim girl child in some of the most backward districts in Uttar Pradesh in India. She has been consistently recognized for her contributions to Art and Philanthropy. She was recently conferred "Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur" (Knight of the Legion of Honour) - the highest French civilian award. She was also awarded ‘Collector of the Year 2018’ by India Today Art Awards and was one of the awardees for India Today Art Awards ‘Public Art of the Year’ for the India Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019. She was voted one of the 100 most influential people in the contemporary art world on the most established ranking in contemporary art, compiled by the UK-based ArtReview.


Roobina Karode is a curator, educator and art critic. Currently, she is the Director & Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi, India, since it opened its doors in 2010. Karode has post-graduate specializations in Art History and in Education.

Over the years, she has curated more than fifty major exhibitions, including seminal retrospectives on the art practice of Nasreen Mohamedi, at KNMA- Delhi, at the Reina Sofia Museum in Spain in 2015 and at the MET Breuer, New York in 2016. She recently co-curated POP SOUTH ASIA -artistic explorations in the popular, a largely unexamined theme with artist-professor Iftikhar Dadi, in collaboration with the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Karode has taught Art History, both Indian Modern and Western art from 1990 to 2006, at various institutions in Delhi, mainly the School of Arts & Aesthetics in JNU, the National Museum Institute, the College of Art and the Jamia Millia Islamia University. She was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship in 2000 and the Ford Teaching Fellowship in 2005-7. In 2019, Karode was the curator for the Indian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale that earned its name in the first five must-see pavilions.

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Deepanjana Klein is the Director of Acquisitions and Development of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. Klein has a Ph.D. in Indian Art History from De Montfort University in England and has taught art history, theory, and aesthetics at the Leicester School of Architecture in England and at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies in Mumbai. Her publications include contributions to the Encyclopaedia of Sculpture (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers) and she regularly writes for various journals on the topic of contemporary Indian art. She is the recipient of several awards, including a grant from the Mellon Foundation (ArtStor) for her photographic documentation of the Ellora cave temples. 

Prior to working with the KMNA, she spent 15 years with Christie’s, as the International Head of Modern and Contemporary and Classical Indian and Southeast Asian Art. She has led collaborations between Christie’s and major institutions, including The Met, overseen acquisitions for these institutions and has hosted numerous successful collaborative events and strengthened institutional relationships over the years.

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Asad Lalljee is SVP, Essar Group, CEO of Avid Learning, a public programming initiative and creative platform under the Essar Group, and Curator, Royal Opera House, Mumbai. Prior to relocating to India, Asad worked for 14 years as one of the ‘Mad Men’ advertising executives on New York's Madison Avenue. Asad has transformed Avid Learning into India’s leading cultural hub through international collaborations and partnering with the biggest art platforms in the country. As a distinguished member of FICCI Art and Culture Committee since 2018, Asad has convened multi stakeholder conferences in Mumbai and Bengaluru to democratise the arts. His is a story of drive, intent and fearlessness. Since the restoration of the Royal Opera House, Asad’a curatorial programming has re-established its reputation as the city’s cultural crown jewel. He is also serving on the Kala Ghoda Association’s Executive Committee and the advisory board of the Mumbai Urban Art Festival for 2022-23. In the midst of the pandemic (April 2020), Asad pivoted from AVID to AVID ONLINE, presenting 240 programs in a year. An early technology trend adopter, he takes a special interest in new media curating programs around NFTs and the cyberfuture.

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