Jagdish Mittal’s journey as an art collector began in 1946 when he bought a Kantha embroidered quilt (which can be dated to the late 19th century) from a fisherman. Him and his wife, Kamala Mittal, have curated a plethora of artworks and artefacts over the years. Subsequently, in 1976, they set up the Jagdish and Kamala Mittal Museum Of Indian Art, a public trust, to make their collection accessible to those interested in the history of Indian art.
With over 2000 pieces from various historical periods and traditions, their collection includes folk art along with paintings from the classical traditions. Not only do they have art pieces from the Mughal, Deccani, Rajsthani and Pahari art traditions but also have metalware, manuscripts and arms and weaponry in their archives.
Paintings from their collection have been part of temporary exhibits at the Festival of India exhibitions in London, USA and France. The museum which currently functions from the couple’s residence has been of significant importance to scholars and artists.