The Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh is well known for its architecture and collection. The credit goes largely to Le Corbusier, the legendary designer who designed the city and its museum and to the visionary MS Randhawa, the first commissioner of Chandigarh whose belief in the importance of art and culture led him to relentlessly pursue the structure’s architectural planning and construction and simultaneously put together a priceless collection of art objects.
Aided and assisted by a team of dedicated and passionate individuals, the architects Pierre Jeanneret, S D Sharma and M N Sharma, the Chief Engineer Kulbir Singh and the designer Ms. Ratna Fabri, the dream was realised and stands today as the legacy of the founders of Chandigarh who had the foresight to understand the needs of a modern city as India embraced its future as an independent nation.
Though the history of this museum's collection can be traced to the sculptures and miniature paintings that came from Central Museum, Lahore in 1948 but the collection was augmented immensely by MS Randhawa’s acquisition policy, so much so, that when the museum was inaugurated in 1968, its collection of antiquities and contemporary art was at par with the best in the country. The museum has been declared as a Grade I, Zone II heritage structure.
The journey of museum has now been of more than 50 years. These 50 years have seen addition of galleries, exhibitions, outreach activities, digitization and building up a strong community connection. It has become a hub of cultural activities and a destination for all those visiting Chandigarh.
The distinctiveness of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, India lies in its architecture and rich collection. An architectural delight, designed by the famed Le Corbusier, the museum was inaugurated in 1968. From its inception to its present stage, it has grown enormously including in its gamut, activities intended to bring people closer to the museum.
The sprawling museum complex houses the main building that is the Government Museum and Art Gallery, the Natural History Museum and the Chandigarh Architecture Museum.
The immensely popular Government Museum and Art Gallery holds a substantial collection of antiquities and Indian contemporary art. The piece de resistance is its renowned collection of Gandhara sculptures and Pahari miniature painting that have put the museum on the tourist map of art connoisseurs. The different sections of the museum are designed to showcase the collection of the Indian textiles, Indian metal and stone sculpture, decorative art, Indian miniature painting and Indian contemporary art.
The Natural History Museum has also received a facelift with the addition of section “Redefining our Past: Tracing the earliest human activity in the world”. The galleries of Dinosaurs of India and Evolution of Life are a major draw among children and students.
The Chandigarh Architecture Museum shows the birth of the city by displaying the master plans, sketches and photographs from its archival collection.
Beisdes these, there are two more museums, one is the International Dolls Museum in Sector 23 and the other is the National Gallery of Portraits in Sector 17.
The museum has put a thrust on its out-reach activities and educational programmes aimed at inviting participation of the school children. The children are the future custodian of our environment and heritage and if they are made conscious of natural treasures and art heritage of our country from the very beginning, the country will have a brighter future. The museum has recently added audio tours in the Government Museum and Art Gallery to enable people to have an easy access of the collection. By constantly re-inventing itself, the museum has been a forerunner in providing exemplary service to the people.
We sincerely hope that you will enjoy your visit to the Government Museum and Art Gallery and visit our web site at http://chdmuseum.gov.in as frequently as possible. We welcome any suggestions that you may want to make.