Research Centre for Indian Art set up in Swiss Museum

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Museum Rietberg has established a research centre with a focus on Indian art.

Research centre for Indian art set up in Swiss museum - f

Sonika Soni was named the GBF Centre’s first research fellow.

Museum Rietberg has established a unique research centre and fellowship programme primarily focusing on Indian art.

Designed for scholars, curators and artists who specialise in Indian painting, the GBF Centre takes its names from the initials of its founders.

The GBF Centre is founded by Professor BN Goswamy from India, Professor Milo Cleveland Beach from the United States, and Dr Eberhard Fischer from Switzerland.

The founders are renowned names in art historical research.

Researchers will get a chance to engage with original artworks for three to six months. This will help to create a project of their own design.

The researchers will work with the museum’s team of scholars as well as experts from India, Switzerland and Europe.

Their research projects will be presented during lectures and contribute to the work at Museum Rietberg.

The programme aims to enhance international exchange on Indian art and advance the museum’s own collections.

Sonika Soni was named the GBF Centre’s first research fellow. Sonika is an artist and art historian from Rajasthan.

Her interests lie in the connection between Indian paintings and traditional Indian music.

The Swiss museum’s Indian collection offers a tour through 2,000 years of art history in South Asia.

The Museum Rietberg has also been recognised on a global scale for its Indian miniature painting collection.

Holding over 1,600 miniature paintings and drawings from the Himalayas to southern India, the collection is extensive.

The collection focuses on Pahari paintings, and due to the delicate materials, is shown to the public in changing temporary exhibitions.

Pahari paintings mean paintings from the mountainous regions of northern India during the 17th-19th century.


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Gifts from donors and further donations have extended and led to the enhancement of the miniatures collection.

Sonika hails from a family of traditional painters herself and has multiple degrees.

The artist has a master’s in art history from the Faculty of Fine Arts, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and a post-graduate diploma in Museology and Conservation from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai.

Museum Rietberg is the only art museum that houses non-European art in Switzerland.

The museum holds collections from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania.

Museum Rietberg also holds exhibitions, cultural events and global collaborations throughout the year.

Founded in 1952, the museum’s Indian paintings collection is ranked highly alongside those in London, Paris, and Berlin.

Ravinder is currently studying BA Hons in Journalism. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.