A Very Brief History of Indian Museums

A Very Brief History of Indian Museums

Museums right from the time of their origin in Eighteenth century Europe have been set up for a variety of reasons, but the one reason that remains relevant through time and geographies is -public service through education.

One of the first museums to define education as its central role is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It was set-up as the South Kensington museum after the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was the first large-scale international exhibition showcasing machine-made products of the Industrial Revolution. The history of museums in India follows the story of this unique museum, with the British authorities in Nineteenth century India setting up museums of Industrial Art in various cities for the purpose of Education. These museums were used by art school students and enjoyed by general visitors who went there to see the wonders of technology and marvels of craftsmanship from around the world.

Museums of fine arts started to be set up in the early Twentieth century by private individuals and after 1947 by the Indian government. With over 650 museums in India today, it is one of the largest museum networks in the world. Indian art museums tell the story of Indian Art which is not well represented in our school curriculum and can therefore be an important space for informal learning about art. With increase in contemporary art production today Indian art museums are rejuvenated and discovering new audiences for what they have to offer. Museum buildings are usually well-designed and located in verdant settings which can be a welcome relief in today’s over-crowded cities. Museums are also using these spaces to invite communities and become spaces for dialogue between the past and the present.

So why visit a museum today?
To learn about the world, to learn about your community, to learn about yourself!
To feel pleasure, to enjoy seeing, to be inspired!
To enjoy well-designed spaces, connect with people, discover art! 

Key words : History of Indian Museum, Museum today, role of museum, learning in museum, why to go museum

Categories : Museum, History