The Asiatic Society of Bengal Established in 1784. Collections include valuable portraits and sculptures including original paintings by Rubens, Guido, Reynolds, Home and others; the Library (General Section) has over 100000 volumes while the Sanskrit Section has over 27,000 books and manuscripts in various languages, 48 copper plates, a large number of coins, early Pala painted manuscripts, pints and engravings.
1, Park Street,
Kolkata – 700 016.
Academy of Fine Arts Established in 1933. Collections include contemporary Indian Art including specimens of art of medieval Bengal and Indian textiles, Kashmir shawls, medieval Indian miniature paintings, 19th century prints and some stone sculptures. ‘Rabindra Gallery’ opened in 1962 contains original paintings, published and unpublished manuscripts in Bengali and English and personal belongings of the poet. The Academy also runs an Artists’ studio for the benefit of working artists.
Kolkata – 700 016
Agri-Horticultural Society of India (Garden & Green Houses) Established in 1820. It has a flower garden, green-houses, a research laboratory and a library. Organises annual flower shows and imparts training in horticulture.
1, Alipur Road
Kolkata – 700 027
Asutosh Museum of Indian Art Established in 1937. Named after the great educationist, Asutosh Mookerjee, set up for the purpose of collecting, preserving and exhibiting objects of Indian art and antiquity with special emphasis on Eastern India and more especially Bengal. The country’s first University Museum include in its collections some of the rarest art treasures. The museum collects folk art and crafts of Bengal and India, conducts rural culture survey and undertakes archaeological excavations. The Department of Museology, University of Calcutta offering two-year Master degree Course in museology is also housed here.
Calcutta University (West),
Kolkata – 700 012.
Bangiya Sahitya Parishad Chitrasala Established in 1910. Collections include valuable mediaeval stone and metal sculptures, manuscripts, letters of famous Bengali authors, art and archaeological objects depicting the history and culture of Bengal.
243/1, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road,
Kolkata – 700 006.
Birla Academy of Art and Culture Museum Established in 1966. Collections include paintings of the mediaeval period as well as modern art and some archaeological specimens. The Museum holds regular exhibitions of modern Indian sculptures and painters.
108-109, Southern Avenue,
Kolkata – 700 019.
Birla Industrial & Technological Museum Established in 1956 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; deals with basic science and technology; has large number of exhibits, designed, prepared and fabricated at its own workshop. Galleries cover models showing electricity, Electronics, Nuclear Physics, Iron and Steel, Optics, Motive Power, Communication and Mining. Popular activities of the Museum include film shows demonstration-lectures, hobby activities, periodical programmes of sky-observation through telescopes. Runs several mobile units for the rural areas. Regional Science Museums at Malda and Purulia operate under this body.
19A, Gurusaday Road,
Kolkata – 700 019.
Birla Planetarium Established in 1962 by the Birla Education Trust. Only the second of its kind in the Commonwealth, similar to that in London, it is one of the most popular Museums where astronomical presentations relating to the Solar System, the Zodiac, Space Probes, Galaxies and Life Span f Stars are made along with lectures, generally in English, Bengali, Hindi and occasionally in Gujarati, Tamil and Oriya. Offers specially designed graded programmes for children of different age-groups. Astronomy Gallery of the Planetarium includes telescopic photographs of celestial bodies, busts of eminent astronomers; murals depicting the Navagraha and a model of the Jodrell Bank Steerable Radio Telescope. Also offers short courses in astronomy and sky observation.
96, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,
Kolkata – 700 013.
Crafts Museum :
Art in Industry Museum Established in 1950. (Formerly of the Indian Institute of Art in Industry). Collections include rural arts and crafts of different regions of India including ivories, metal objects and textiles from West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Maharashtra, U.P., Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Maintains a good library and photographic records.
9-12, Old Court House Street,
Kolkata – 700 001.
Ethnographic Museum Established in 1955, by the Cultural Research Institute, Govt. of West Bengal. Objects on view include hunting-tools and equipment, fishing gears, dresses and ornaments, utensils, furniture, spinning and weaving aids and also objects relating to art, religion and ‘magic’. Stores photographs and tape-records of folk music depicting life-style of the tribes of this State.
Cultural Research Institute,
Tribal Welfare Department,
Government of West Bengal, New Secretariat Buildings,
1, K.S. Roy Road,
Kolkata – 700 001.
Government Industrial & Commercial Museum Established in 1939. Collections include handicrafts, cottage and small-scale industry products of West Bengal. Distributed over eight sections covering textiles, dolls and toys, handicrafts, commercial products, models and statistical charts. Runs a library and a free reading room. Activities include exhibitions, guide-lecture services and symposia.
45, Ganesh Chandra Avenue,
Kolkata – 700 013.
Indian Museum Established in 1814. First of its kind and still the largest in the country. The Museum has six sections: Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (Economic Botany). The Art Section comprises mediaeval Indian paintings. Tibetan temple banners, metal images, enameled wares, bidriwares, ornaments, silver wares, glass wares, pottery, ivory and bone work, wooden sculptures, leather objects, lacquered toys, articles in jade and crystals and rare textiles from all parts of the Indian sub-continent. The Archaeological Section displays stone-age artifacts from India and abroad, pre-historic antiquities from Mohenjodaro, Harappa, ranging from 2500 B.C. to 1500 B.C. , sculptures belonging to all phases of history from the 4/5 century B.C. to the late mediaeval times; inscriptions on stones and copper, Indo-Muslim architectural pieces and a representative collection of Indian coins. Indian bronzes and the art and crafts of Bengal are also housed in two separate galleries. A special gallery, displays a large variety of various Indian musical instruments. The Anthropological Section displays numerous objects of material cultures of both tribal and non-tribal peoples of India, large dioramas put up through considerable amount of research work. The extensive Geological Section has over 80,000 specimens, displayed in four galleries showing varieties of meteorites, precious stones, ornamental building stones, rocks and minerals and fossils. The Zoological Section, the largest of its kind in India, is rich with innumerable specimens of insects, fish, reptiles, mammals and birds. The Industrial Section has several thousand botanical specimens bearing upon medicine, forestry, agriculture and cottage-industry. The Museum has a publication unit and a library. Also runs a mobile-unit for rural areas. Offers guide service, arranges seasonal series of lectures and sells guide books, picture-cards and plaster-casts of ancient sculptures. Periodically publishes bulletins. Exhibits are labeled in English, Bengali and Hindi.