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A Glimpse into the Textile Traditions of India

from the private collection of Leena Sarabhai Mangaldas and Anjali Hutheesing Mangaldas

Ahmedabad Trunk welcomes you to its treasure of Indian textile arts.

Please use the numbers on the exhibit panels to listen to the corresponding Audio Stories.

Leena Sarabhai Mangaldas

Leena Sarabhai Mangaldas came from the prestigious Sarabhai family, who were instrumental in introducing design to modern India through the Calico Museum and the National Institute of Design. Since childhood she was exposed to noted personalities like Maria Montessori, Le Corbusier, Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi and they had a lasting impression on her. She studied art at the South Kensington Museum in London.

In 1947, Leena founded the Shreyas School in Ahmedabad and Madame Maria Montessori was its first president. The school has a folk textile museum as well. Great emphasis was laid on knowing ones roots through annual cultural festivals (melas), celebrating the textiles, food, music, dance and theater of different states of India. The variety in the Collection is partly due to the textiles and regional attires, which Leena collected on her extensive travels to different regions doing research for the Melas. She was very fond of being finely attired but being a Gandhian, she stopped acquiring new saris or ornaments during the last three decades of her life.

Anjali Hutheesing Mangaldasr 1

Anjali Hutheesing Mangaldas was brought up in the Hutheesing household, a name well known for their family trade of wooden furniture in association with American designer Lockwood de Forest, and kundan jewellery to Tiffany’s in the US. Since childhood, Anjali had a keen eye for craftsmanship and detail. As a child, Anjali was greatly influenced by the evolved textile sensibility of her paternal aunt Sarojini Hutheesing and Shrimati (Soniben) Hutheesing. Her interest showed through her textile collection, which she started at the young age of 14. Her passion led her to be a certified textile designer from Royal College of Art of London. Sarojini introduced her to the craftsmanship of traditional embroideries of Kutch, brocades of Benaras and jamdani saris of Bengal which she sold in her boutique, the first of its kind in pre-independence India. From 1974, Anjali joined Leena in collecting objects for the Shreyas Folk Museum, and was responsible for the striking display and interior design, of which Jyotindra Jain was Museum Director.

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