Kiran and Shiv Nadar
Information technology services; philanthropy
With a collection of more than 6,000 works, Kiran Nadar, along with her husband, Shiv, established her eponymous private museum in 2010, the first of its kind in India. “I became acutely aware of the existing dearth of institutional spaces that could bring visibility to such art,” Kiran told ARTnews. “I realized that my passion lay in raising awareness of the incredible art and culture surrounding us. With the launch of the museum we have managed to make great inroads into art education of the youth.” Over a decade of collecting they’ve made it a mission to champion Southeast Asian artists often overlooked by the market during their lifetimes; the Nadars hosted the first retrospective of the late Nasreen Mohamedi, considered today to be an essential figure in modern Indian art.
The Nadars seemed to go quiet for a few years, but in 2019 they once again became extremely visible on the international stage when the museum commissioned the Indian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Soon after came the announcement that the museum’s new building in New Delhi would have as its architect David Adjaye, designer of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., among many other celebrated structures. In the museum’s holdings are two of the highest-priced works by Indian artists ever to sell at auction—S. H. Raza’s Saurashtra (1983), which went for £2.39 million (about $3.51 million at the time) in 2010, and F. N. Souza’s Birth (1955), which went for $4.09 million in 2015. “I continue to enjoy the meandering, chance encounters and discovery that my continuous search for art often leads me to, there is always something new to discover,” Kiran said.