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J.M. Gandhimathi

Government Museum, Chennai

Assistant Director

Country: India

ITP Year: 2017


Gandhimathi describes herself as an experienced, enthusiastic and result oriented curator. She directs the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of collections, including negotiating the purchase, exchange or loan of collections. She has a proven ability in authenticating, evaluating and categorising the specimens in a collection. Gandhimathi also oversees and helps to conduct her institution’s research projects and related educational programmes.

As the curator of three District Museums in Tamil Nadu, Gandhimathi has gained technical as well as administrative skills in managing a museum independently. With her vast experience in the field of Museology, she feels a moral responsibility to advise other cultural institutions, both public and private as well as individuals about safeguarding the cultural objects and antiquities in their possession. Creating awareness amongst the public about India’s rich cultural heritage is her goal and something she is positively working towards achieving.

She is a self-taught artist who draws and paints during her spare time. Gandhimathi paints both traditionally and digitally and also does metal embossing works and graphic illustrations for books.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme 2017, Gandhimathi was based in the Asia Department and spent her partner placement at Manchester Museum and Manchester Art Gallery.

In 2017 participants were asked to develop a proposal for an Asahi Shimbun Display – a temporary exhibition in Room 3 at the British Museum – based around a ‘spotlight’ object.  Gandhimathi worked with fellow Irem Yildiz (Turkey) on her exhibition proposal project, entitled Being in Time and Space.

Gandhimathi’s participation on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the British Museum Trust.

Legacy Projects
In 2018 Gandhimathi returned to the British Museum to take part in a short ITP-organised programme around museums and education. She then travelled, with colleagues from the Museum’s Asia Department, to Paris to present on a panel for the European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) where they discussed their collaboration on the European Research Council funded project Religion, Region, Language and the State, looking at the history and archaeology of the Nilgiri Hills.

Continued Dialogue
The ITP supported the participation of Gandhimathi in the 25th European conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) at Paris, France in July 2018 where she presented a paper entitled “Changing community identities and museum documentation” under the panel “Living on the Edge: Highland Societies and Lowland Polities” moderated by Dr.Daniela de Simone of the British Museum.