Sarmaya is a digital museum with a collection that represents the diverse histories and artistic traditions of the Subcontinent. Our aim is to set young Indians on the path towards discovering their cultural inheritance, through a critical and compassionate lens. Using our collection as the starting point. we create online and on-ground programming that sparks curiosity, invites dialogue and fosters a deeper engagement with our shared heritage.
What does it mean to be a modern museum? Why should a Zoomer care about the Uprising of 1857? How can the genius of Indian art inspire the next generation of young creatives? Answering questions like these has helped us shape the vision for Sarmaya, the museum without boundaries.
At the heart of it is a carefully curated repository of art, artefacts and living traditions from the larger Indian subcontinent. Tina and Paul Abraham’s private collection folds in categories as varied as numismatics and cartography, and tracks narratives across a wide swathe of time, from the second century to the 21st. Their search for these objects was driven by passion and a great sense of fun. But acquisition wasn’t the end of their journey. The real pleasure was in sharing this wealth with a larger community and especially its most impressionable citizens, children. When Tina passed away in 2014 from cancer, it became Sarmaya’s mission to carry on the work she started. We began by erasing all boundaries.
There will be no boundaries of space—our collection of rare historical artefacts and Indian art will be available to view online and open to anyone willing to follow their curiosity. There will be no boundaries of time—we interpret history through the lens of now, so events that took place two centuries ago will acquire the urgency of a breaking story. And there will be no boundaries of access—we want to reach out to under-served communities, create immersive experiences and reimagine our tangible and intangible heritage.
Our goal is to one day house the collection in a physical space that transports the visitor to the past, letting them dive into diverse cultures and art forms. But no matter what the medium, whether a gallery show or a gif, our promise remains.
Sarmaya is not a museum you go to; it’s a museum that comes to you.