Ahmedabad Trunk is a textile gallery inside the premises of a boutique heritage hotel, The House of MG, located within the walled city of Ahmedabad.  Back in 1924, this stately property was home to one of the wealthiest textile magnates of the time, Mangaldas Girdhardas and his brother Chamalal Girdhardas, the ancestors of gallery founder Abhay Mangaldas. 

The gallery was founded much later in 2016 and like the rest of the building retains its old-world charm beautifully. It houses a rare treasure of Gujarati textile arts that spans multiple techniques, materials and practices from far reaching corners of Gujarat. Its collection began with the acquisitions by the founder’s mother Anjali Mangaldas, who continued her endeavour throughout her lifetime. 

Located on the first floor, the access to the gallery is through ‘The Heirloom Shop’ which is also inter-connected to the Heritage Bookstore.  The museum itself comprises of three inter-connected gallery spaces. The first two, which are to be viewed in sequence, are the permanent galleries displaying the textiles of Gujarat arranged under four categories curated by Meena Rajput and Oroon Das:

  • Woven ( patola, mashru, etc)
  • Embroidered (both kaccho and pakko bharat)
  • Felted, beaded and appliqued (namda, kathi, etc.), and
  • Dyed, printed  and painted (rogan, ajrakh, bandhani, etc.)

 

Since most of these textiles constituted a very important part of the bride’s dowry and were essentially for personal use, one can witness the love that has gone into making each of these. Thanks to the scale of this gallery, each textile garment selected for display is unique. The amazing artistry that goes into textiles like tappar, meant to cover domestic animals such as buffaloes and camels, is also overwhelming. The workmanship that goes into making of the kids’ wear must mean that they were passed from generation to generation. The Mutwa embroidery is most fascinating as besides using miniscule stitches, it uses mirrors as small as 2mm as embellishments! 

Each piece is an indicator of the identity of the owner and her/his specific community.  And the pictures accompanying the exhibits are a window of sorts into the many people and places that these textiles come from.  These are bound to inspire innovation for contemporary design.

The third gallery space is meant for temporary exhibitions by designers and master craftsmen. Currently on display is ‘Painting With Threads’, the second part of a three-series display of saris and shawls that belonged to Anjali Hutheesing Mangaldas and Leena Sarabhai Mangaldas, and curated by Aditi Ranjan. 

A recent addition is the exhibition ‘Glimpses of a Family Legacy’ which has jewellery, personal ornaments, silver, items of worship and tableware, curated by Puja Shah.

The gallery offers an audio tour, complete with headphones and disposable earplug covers, accessible through your own phones at no extra charge.

Category
Arts and Crafts
Established
2016
Opening Days
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Visiting Hours
10:30 a.m. - 06:30 p.m.
Entry Fee
Applicable Rs. 50 /-
Average Duration
1-2 hours
Address
Ahmedabad Trunk, The Textile Gallery,
The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas,
Opp. Sidi Saiyad Jali, Lal Darwaja,
Ahmedabad- 380001
Facilities
Additional Facilities
Museum Shop, Book Shop
Managed By
Private Organization
Docent Guide
Yes
Person In-charge
Curator, Priyanka Baliyan
Email
customercare@houseofmg.com
Phone
Tel: +91-79-25506946, (M): +91 9727600300
Additional Information
The gallery is connected to the Heirloom Shop and the Heritage Bookstore. The Heirloom Shop is an extension to the Textile Gallery. It stocks exquisitely crafted heirlooms of handmade textiles (some like those displayed in the gallery) and in wood and metal. Though the products are not classified as antiques, they are especially curated for legacy, to appreciate over time.
The Heritage Bookstore is a treasure trove of photo-illustrated coffee table and research books on Indian textiles, jewellery, culture, spirituality, cuisine, travel and wellness from publishers across India.
On the ground floor is the Ahmedabad Trunk Gift Shop. This high-end legacy brand of ‘The House of MG’ has a collection of handpicked Indian hand-crafted gifts. Each gift tells a unique story. This retail store also has organically made wellness products.

AudioStories: https://amhdtrunkstories.wixsite.com/amd-trunk/copy-of-galleries-01-02
Museum Mapped By
Meghna Sheth Gandhi
Interesting Things About the Museum
The style of display allows an extremely close (2 to 5-inch) and clear view of the intricate embroidery of each piece allowing you to appreciate the neatness and unique creativity of each piece. Also, the thoughtful use of appropriate pictures with each garment keeps the context of each known and makes the piece more appreciable.

The extremely subtle graphics on the wall are classy. Amazingly simplistic yet in tandem with the individual display or info or pics on each wall, they complement the theme of the gallery. The old-world charm, the design of the doors and the windows, the interconnectedness of each space and the high ceiling makes the experience more special. At the start, the various colourful and artistic torans hanging from the ceiling create a beautiful effect, as torans traditionally present in houses in Gujarat symbolised ‘welcome for all’.

- Opinion by the Museum Mapper for this museum.