We introduce you to the inspirational and formidable woman who has put the Museum on the global map – Honorary Director and Managing Trustee, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta.
Tasneem is responsible for the restoration and revival of the Museum, progressively transforming it into a bustling cultural hub. Despite the transformation, she strives to maximize accessibility, with nominal ticket prices and tours in English, Hindi and Marathi, with the idea that the city’s historic legacy belongs not only to an informed few but to us all, and to the city itself.
We went into our conversation suitably awed by Tasneem’s many accomplishments but were instantly put at ease by her warmth and her palpable passion for cultural conservation. Tasneem graciously took us through her journey, from her early love for art and literature and her experiences as docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to her current role at the forefront of India’s heritage preservation movement, supported along the way by strong female mentors. She has faced her share of challenges and detractors and shared with us how her own leadership style has evolved through the process.
We discussed Tasneem’s experiences with building an engaged museum culture ground-up and reinventing the dated idea of a museum into a space that captivates and engages visitors, while also promoting commercial viability. Even through the pandemic, the Museum’s digitized collection and vibrant social media (online puzzles and games, artists talks and ‘Flashback Fridays’ exhibitions!) have provided respite from the otherwise dreary lockdown.
Tasneem’s stories hold lessons for us all – perseverance and resilience, courage in the face of self-doubt, and reinvention when the occasion calls for it. Catch our full conversation with Tasneem in the video.
Don’t forget to stop by the Museum website (https://www.bdlmuseum.org/) for virtually accessible events!