Art Reference Library (ARL)

The Art Reference Library (ARL) was inaugurated on 1 August 2014 by the then President of the Centre, late Shri Soli J. Sorabjee. Originally housed in the upper basement of the Kamaladevi Complex, it is now accommodated in the newly created space adjacent to the Main Library, overlooking the Fountain Lawns. This recently constructed and aesthetically designed space was formally inaugurated by the late Dr. (Smt.) Kapila Vatsyayan, Chairperson, International Research Division, IIC, on 2 May 2019.

Photo: Dr. Vatsyayan is flanked by Shri N. N. Vohra, President, IIC; late Shri Soli J. Sorabjee, Chairman, Library Committee; Shri K. N. Shrivastava, Director, IIC; Shri Kanwal Wali, Secretary, IIC; Heads of Departments; and regular users of the Library.

The ARL’s collection of 1,450 books, magazines, art catalogues, posters and pamphlets cover subjects such as architecture, ceramics, conservation, drawing, fashion, furniture design, glass work, jewellery, metal work, painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, folk art, handicraft and iconography, to name just a few. There about 200 recipe books, some donated by the late Smt. Bhicoo Manekshaw, whose association with the Centre dates from 1973 to 2013. It is to her that we owe the very popular cookbook published by the IIC in collaboration with Niyogi Books, titled Secrets from the Kitchen: Fifty Years of Culinary Experience at the India International Centre.

Six hundred books have been taken from the main collection of the Library and included in the ARL. Others have been donated by Members and the Programme Division. Grateful acknowledgement is made for books from Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan’s valuable personal collection, and from the late Shri Keshav Malik’s rich collection, including his own works, donated by his wife Smt. Usha Malik. We are also grateful to the Foundation of Museum of Modern Art (FOMA), Karachi, which has donated 78 books. FOMA is an independent Trust whose main aim is to promote the study of art in historical and contemporary contexts, and set up museums of modern and contemporary art, and art libraries.

The ARL is accessible to the Members between 9.30 am to 8.00 pm on all working days from Monday to Saturday, and from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm on Sundays & declared holidays. Books at the ARL are only for reference. There is a comfortable seating area for Members to browse through and enjoy this growing collection.