The Sarmaya Guide to

Collecting art & artefacts

To accompany our spotlight on new acquisitions at Sarmaya, we bring you notes from the two people who shape our collection. Founder Paul Abraham and Brand Custodian Pavitra Rajaram acquire objects to continually enrich the seven genres that our museum represents. This makes the Sarmaya collection a dynamic one that’s always evolving and responding to the world around it.

How do you create a meaningful collection? Where do you discover new artists? Do you need a big investment in order to start? We put these and other questions to Paul and Pavitra. And they shared advice that we think would be invaluable to any new collector out there—click on the videos below to hear what they have to say.

Paul started his collection with ten coins. Pavitra began with pressed flowers. Your journey too can start small and lead to the adventure of a lifetime.

Museum collectors on their life journeys

Sarmaya’s collection shaped by Paul and Pavitra’s unique personal experiences with collecting. Here they share how they started on this journey separately and what inspires them as partners in this process today.

What guides you while collecting for Sarmaya?

Here, Paul and Pavitra explain their guiding principles for acquiring everything from historical artefacts to contemporary art for Sarmaya.

Paul’s top tips for young collectors

Paul has advice to help you avoid common missteps, acquire the right information and set the foundation for an enriching collection.

Pavitra’s top tips for young collectors

Pavitra’s tips on buying art will help you discover cool new artists, art galleries and art communities in India.

How to develop an eye for art

This is a tricky one: how do you cultivate an instinct for good art? Paul and Pavitra share their points of view.

Good Collection Vs Great Collection

What separates a good collection from a great one is hard to define, but clear to see. Here’s how Paul and Pavitra would break it down.

How to collect coins on a budget

When Paul began collecting coins as a young boy, he had a small budget but limitless curiosity. Here he explains how he built Sarmaya’s vast numismatics collection over decades of research, planning and smart buying.

“Your collection journey doesn’t have to begin with an object”

Collect stories, not just objects! Paul and Pavitra talk about the joy of the collection journey and tell you how you can deepen your knowledge of Indian art and history along the way.

Badri Narayan, great Indian artist and Sarmaya favourite

First rule of collecting: buy art you want to grow old with! Paul and Pavitra talk about a common love, Badri Narayan