The Ambanis are known to add a piece of Indian traditional art as part of the Diwali hamper they send each year. Be it miniature paintings from Rajasthan, intricately woven Benarasi shawls or Pattachitra paintings from Odisha. Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, is interested in opening a museum in Mumbai, similar to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, to present shows of globally acclaimed artists, say people in the know.
She wants to build an art platform to provide opportunities to artists.
Ambani is the first Indian honorary trustee of the New York-based Museum of Metropolitan Art (The Met). She has been associated with The Met since 2016, when she took the works of the legendary Nasreen Mohamedi (known for her line-based drawings) there. It was the first museum retrospective of the artist's work in the US as well as one of inaugural exhibitions at Met Breuer. In 2017, the Foundation committed to partner with the museum to support exhibitions that explore and celebrate arts of India.
Ambani also has an enchanting art collection at her Antilla home in Mumbai. She had brought the internationally acclaimed touring exhibition 'Mummy: The Inside Story' to India in 2012 in partnership with BP plc and the British Museum. This unique exhibition showcased the 3,000-year old coffin of an old priest, through a 3D film, elaborating on the mummification process and the life and history of Egypt. The three-month exhibition attracted a footfall of over 250,000 visitors.
A trained Bharatnatyam dancer, Ambani has also promoted other cultural events such as The Elephanta Festival and Abbaji, an annual concert organised by Ustad Zakir Hussain.