Are You an Art Lover? Here is the 9 ‘Must Visit’ Art Galleries in India

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Have you been to any art galleries or museums in our country? If not, you might be missing out on one of the best chances to embrace Indian art. Now, let’s go on a (virtual) tour searching for some of the famous art galleries and museums of India.

1. Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata

Academy of fine arts, Kolkata

Established in 1933, the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, is one of the oldest art galleries in India. The academy was started in a small room and the location today, is the result of efforts by Ranoo Mookerjee, supported by the then chief minister, B.C. Roy and Jawaharlal Nehru. Today, so many famous paintings by renowned Indian and foreign artists are on display here. Paintings like ‘Girl with a pitcher’ by Rabindra Nath Tagore, ‘A Winter’s Evening’ by Abanindra Nath Tagore etc are only some of those. You will also find works of artists like Jamini Roy, Nandalal Bose, M.F.Hussain etc, at the academy.

2. The Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh.

Government Museum and Art Gallery

It’s not just art paintings that you will find in this art gallery. Sculpture and architecture are also a part of this museum. The art gallery was opened for public in the year 1968. There are different sections for sculpture, architecture and art paintings in the museum. The sections for Indian miniature paintings, contemporary art, the gallery of portraits etc, are something that will interest any art lover. Paintings by famous artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore and the like are on display at this museum.

3. Government Museum, Chennai

Government Museum, Chennai

The Government Museum in Chennai, also known as the Madras museum, is the second oldest museum and art gallery in India. Established in the year 1851, the art gallery here still attracts a large number of visitors. The National Art Gallery, which is a part of the museum, has paintings of famous artists like Raja Ravi Varma on display. At the art gallery, you will find traditional paintings like Tanjore, Rajput, Mughal paintings to modern contemporary art works.

4. Indian Museum, Kolkata

Indian Museum, Kolkata

From second oldest art gallery to the oldest art gallery and museum in India; Indian Museum was established in the year 1814. Museum is divided into six sections, with art given due importance. The art gallery of the museum is divided into 4 sections, Mughal Painting Gallery, Bengal Painting Gallery, Decorative Art & Textile Gallery and South East Asian Gallery. This museum and art gallery is all set to celebrate bicentennial next year, 2014.

5. Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

Established in 1952, this art gallery is owned by private management. The art gallery here has paintings of almost all famous Indian artists from Jamini Roy to Arpita Singh. Today, artists from India and outside are lined up for their exhibition at this gallery. As an art lover, you are sure to be entertained at Jehangir Art Gallery.

6. National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore

National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore

This art gallery is one of the newest ones in the country and was inaugurated in the year 2009. The art gallery has at least 500 paintings on exhibition, both traditional and modern art. Paintings on exhibition include works by artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy etc. The paintings are sorted and displayed based on time period, artists and school of art. Exhibitions and activities related to art are always a presence at this art gallery.

7. National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

This is another art gallery in India that is run by the Government. The art gallery was established in the year 1954 and has a collection of over 14,000 paintings by artists from India and abroad. Paintings in this huge collection include works by Raja Ravi Varma, Tagore brothers, Jamini Roy etc. The art gallery stands at the end of Rajpath in New Delhi, facing India Gate. The building where the art gallery is situated is officially known as Jaipur house.

8. National Museum, New Delhi

National Museum, New Delhi

Another art gallery and museum, the National Museum in New Delhi, was established in the year 1949. When it comes to art paintings, the biggest collection is the miniature paintings from past years. However, paintings by modern artists are not a rarity. Art styles like Mughal, Deccan, Rajasthan, Sikh, Kashmiri etc are only some of those. These art works are mostly from the time period of 10th to 20th century. Some miniature paintings based on the Tanjore style are also on display, but not in large numbers.

9. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Victoria Memorial was officially open to public in the year 1921. There are different sections in this art gallery for Indian and foreign paintings. The Culcutta Gallery, Royal Gallery, Indian paintings, miniatures etc are some of those. The Royal Gallery is dedicated for paintings depicting Queen Victoria. The western paintings section of the art gallery includes paintings from artists like Charles D’oyly, Johann Zoffany, William Hadges, William Simpson etc.

These are some of the well-known art galleries in India. Next time you go on an art expedition, make sure you don’t miss the above art galleries. You don’t want to miss the best there is, do you?

Did we miss any important gallery? What other places can you go as an art lover? Share with us in comments.

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