An upcoming museum of costumes from India, the Moda Goa Museum & Research Centre was conceptualised by Wendell Rodricks and his partner Jerome Marrel. The museum will be one of the first to showcase costumes as well as artefacts with a focus on Goan history and heritage.
Rodricks envisioned the museum as a space to exhibit costumes and artefacts from his own collection and is the result of over a decade of research and internships by Rodricks at the Museum at FIT, New York, and the National Costume Museum, Lisbon, which culminated in his book Moda Goa: History and Style (2012).
The museum will be located at the Casa Dona Maria, Colvale, which formerly served as Rodricks and Marrel’s residence. It is an unregistered heritage property, with the ground floor dating to the sixteenth century while the rest of the house dates from approximately the mid-1750s to the 1850s. The collection of the museum comprises artefacts and acquisitions from Rodricks’s personal collection, dating to as early as the seventh century CE and includes statues, objects, photographs, furniture, textiles, jewellery, accessories and costumes. Significant items from the collection include Kunbi sarees, a wedding dress from 1913, a sixteenth-century gold coin and a set of 24-carat bangles with fine filigree work dated to about three hundred years ago to Portuguese India. An entire gallery is dedicated to the Pano Bhaju and its evolution and use.
The first phase of the museum aims to establish fifteen themed galleries divided between two levels over 750 square metres. The museum will also feature a library and a central courtyard that would act as a social and hosting space. The second phase of development would focus on expanding and renovating the property according to traditional Goan architecture, and include areas for storage and conservation, as well as an administration zone and a scholar’s residence.
Following Rodricks’s death in 2020, Marrel took over the museum project. While initially scheduled to open to the public in March 2020, the date was postponed owing to the COVID-19 outbreak in India. The museum officially opened in April 2022.
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