The Imperial’s relationship with art is a long standing one. Since its inception, over 70 years ago, the Hotel, known as a museum hotel, has been a repository of art and a home to many famous artists.
The Imperial, proudly displays a priceless collection of the ‘British Art on India.’ Some prominent artists are Thomas and William Daniells, William Simpson, William Hodges, Johann Zoffany, James Ferguson, J.B. Fraser, Emily Eden, Charles D’Oyly, among others.
The Imperial has to its credit the distinction of hosting one of the earliest Art Exhibitions in the year 1936. This was graced and inaugurated by H.H. the Maharaja of Patiala.
Notably, The Imperial has the largest collection on display of land war gallantry awards in India and neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Burma, Bhutan and China apart from a sizeable record of orders and decorations bestowed by the King, the Emperor of India as an honor to the local Maharajas and ruling Princes of different states of India. Each floor in the Hotel is dedicated to an artist whose original works adorn the walls of the rooms and the corridors. The Lobby, too, dedicates its lounge to period art.
The Hotel has three main art galleries and a collection of life size oil paintings of the Princely Rulers of India. This collection includes the works of great artists who worked in India in the late 17th and early 18th century and produced etchings, wood engravings, lithographs, aquatints and mezzotints based on sketches of landscapes, architecture, topography and life and times of India.
“The Imperial depends for impact on its art collection – one of the most arresting public displays of colonial images and memorabilia in all of Asia,” says Anthony Paul of Fortune magazine. We couldn’t agree more!