dna takes a look 1900s Bombay Vintage Photographs, an exhibit of 75 pictures at Dinodia Photo Gallery, which portray the city before it became Mumbai
Walk into the 6th floor of Bajaj Bhawan, Nariman Point, and you'll be amazed at how spaces in Mumbai are used for the growth of culture and art. The Dinodia Art Gallery, a tiny corner in a 1,000 sq ft photo studio space, is proof that if you're a lover of art and have an eye for the same, you'll find avenues to allow its propagation.
Launched in February this year, Dinodia has a new exhibition every month. Walk into the gallery before July 17, and you’ll see a partially sepia-hued space, allowing you to tour around 'Bombay'. 1900s Bombay Vintage Photographs is an exhibition showcasing 75 pictures, which belong to collectors Ajay Goyal, Anil Dave and Dr. Jehangir Sorabjee. The photographs are of buildings and monuments across Bombay during the 1900s, in its full grandeur.
We ask Jagdish Agarwal, creator of India’s first stock photography agency Dinodia (1987) who also owns Dinodia Photo Gallery, how he came up with the idea of showcasing the ‘Bombay’ that was once buzzing. He responds, “I met Ajay Goyal, and he told me that he has collected a number of images of Bombay. So I decided to take a look at the same. When I went to his house, I realised he has more than 1,000 pictures; ones he collected while on his trips abroad. It was mind-blowing. Later, I got in touch with Anil Dave and Dr. Jehangir Sorabjee, and they owned a collection as well. That’s when I decided that these pictures have to be showcased.”
Take a look at the images at this exhibition, and compare it to the monuments of today (most of which are now declared heritage) and you'll realise how badly maintained they are. Agarwal says, “We, as a city, have never given much thought about maintaining these structures. Today, these buildings only serve a utilitarian purpose. This is exactly the reason why it has lost the grandeur it once had. What the city requires is a think tank, one which will help maintain it, so we don't lose these structures with time.”