Rereeti - Revitalizing Museums

In the second part of the Museums in India Series, Poulomi Das explores how museums thrived in pre-Independent India.

Indian Museum, KolkataImage: The Indian Museum in Kolkata. Photo courtesy Mohor Mukherjee.

The Indian Museum in Calcutta (Kolkata), which was established in 1814, heralded a museum movement in India, with the British building new museums in Madras (Chennai), Bombay (Mumbai), Jaipur, Lucknow, and Patna. Most of these museums were located amidst large and beautiful botanical and zoological gardens. But have you ever wondered why so many museums were built and that too on such sprawling campuses?

View of the Nave, Great Exhibition 1851, From the American Gallery, V&A MuseumImage: View of the Nave, Great Exhibition 1851, From the American Gallery, V&A Museum.

In 1851, the Great Exhibition was held at the specially created Crystal Palace building in London. It was to celebrate the advances in the industry, and arts & crafts of the day. Britain took a leading role in it, after all…

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