Manisha Nene

Director, Galleries and General Administration, CSMVS
(ITP 2011, India)

The experience at CSMVS, Mumbai in 2015 was enriching and refreshing.  I was happy because my ITP friends and friends from the BM had come to my museum. The idea of creating a Museum of world stories was unique.   The brain storming sessions were enriching resulting in several unique exhibition themes. Our exhibition ‘Bristol : The Bigger Picture’ is the outcome of this workshop. It was a very happy moment for me that my group’s presentation on Bristol city was selected for an online exhibition. In 2016 our group was invited to Bristol to work out the theme of the exhibition in detail as well as plan of action for the exhibition.  The whole group was together to discuss the exhibition. Several ideas were put forth and a theme was worked out in five sections. Each of the five participants was given the responsibility to work on one section.

My section ‘Laying the table’ gave me an opportunity to read and source information I had never worked on before.  I started looking for objects from our collection suitable for this exhibition. To my surprise I could find many.  I started looking for things suitable for the exhibition where ever I went. I also visited many places to capture pictures. The entire experience of developing the exhibition was as refreshing, rejuvenating and boosting as one gets charged after having a cup of chai (tea) – a sub theme of my section! The CSMVS, Mumbai has a small collection of tea sets and tea cups.  It includes contemporary simple tea cups of glass, steel and clay used by common people as well elaborate tea sets made of silver, Sevres and Wedgewood porcelains.  These elaborate tea sets were used by wealthy well to do families.

Most of this of elaborate tea sets collection came to the museum as gift from Parsi (Zorastrian) families who travelled all over the world for their business as well as for tourism.  On their way back to India they used to several things like tea sets and crockery. They enjoyed and loved to use such imported pieces. In fact it was a status symbol for them.