Having had their existence always outside the rigid and binding rules and regulations of the shilpshastras or the constituted Hindu canons governing artistic expression, terracotta art enjoys tremendous freedom in imagination and conception. It was therefore somewhat intriguing that in spite of their widespread usage, antiquity, artistic merit and cultural significance, terracotta objects have not been systematically collected.
To fill this lacuna, Mr O.P.Jain took the initiative in 1990 to set up a Museum of Indian Terracotta at the Sanskriti Kendra.
The Museum lays a lot of emphasis on collecting the living and continuing traditions of Indian terracotta. More than 1500 objects of terracotta are on display in this Museum. A majority of these artifacts belong to open and semi-open environments.
A special gallery has been installed to provide a historical perspective to the long and ancient tradition of terracotta art. The history of Indian terracotta has been narrated with the help of photographs of significant terracotta finds.
With the current scenario of dwindling terracotta craftsman, this museum assumes an even greater importance. It records the history of a culture, future generations will never have benefit of.
Sanskriti Terracotta Museum is located on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road. It is a half-day trip from Central Delhi.