The Cowasji Jehangir Hall, originally a part of the Institute of Science, was built in 1911 by George Wittet with a donation of Rs. 400,000 given by Sir Cowasji Jehangir.
In 1996, the hall was converted to a museum of modern art, with 20,000 square feet of exhibition area at a cost of Rs. 33,000,000. As a protected heritage structure, the external appearance of the building is not allowed to change; nor can structural alterations be made; in addition, changes are required to be reversible. Romi Khosla, the architect, erected new walls two feet inside the original, and laid a new marble flooring over the original black stone. The interior was completely restructured into into four split-level galleries, a room for seminars and audio-visual presentations, and spaces for a bookshop and a cafe.
The new museum is administered by the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Delhi. A section of the museum holds a permanent collection from the NGMA's possessions. Temporary exhibitions take up the rest of the space.