Salar Jung Museum

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Coordinates: 17°22′17″N 78°28′49″E / 17.371426°N 78.480347°E / 17.371426; 78.480347

Salar Jung Museum
Infobox
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, India.jpg
The Salar Jung Museum building
Established16 December 1951; 70 years ago (1951-12-16)
LocationDar-ul-Shifa, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
TypeArt Museum
Key holdingsVeiled Rebecca
Collection size1.1 million objects
OwnerGovernment of India
Websitewww.salarjungmuseum.in

The Salar Jung Museum is an art museum located at Dar-ul-Shifa, on the southern bank of the Musi River in the city of Hyderabad, Telangana, India. It is one of the notable National Museums of India.[1] Originally a private art collection of the Salar Jung family, it was endowed to the nation after the death of Salar Jung III. It was inaugurated on 16 December 1951.

It has a collection of sculptures, paintings, carvings, textiles, manuscripts, ceramics, metallic artifacts, carpets, clocks, and furniture from Japan, China, Burma, Nepal, India, Persia, Egypt, Europe, and North America. It is one of the largest museums in the world.[2]

History

A nobleman of the Salar Jung family of Hyderabad, Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III (1889–1949) served as Prime Minister of Hyderabad during the Nizam's rule. He spent a substantial amount of his income, over a period thirty-five years, collecting artefacts from all across the world.

Inauguration of the Salar Jung Museum by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
, c. 1951.

After the Nawab died in 1949, the collections were left behind in his ancestral palace Diwan Devdi. The collection was formerly exhibited there as a private museum, named Salar Jung Museum, which was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru on 16 December 1951.[3][4]

Old timers believe that the present collection constitutes only half of the original art wealth collected by the Nawab. His employees siphoned off part of it, since the Nawab depended upon his staff to keep a vigil.

In 1968, the museum shifted to its present location at Dar-ul-Shifa, and is administered by a Board of Trustees with the Governor of Telangana as ex officio chairperson under the Salar Jung Museum Act of 1961. Some more art pieces were lost or stolen during the shifting of the museum from Diwan Devdi to the present site.[5]

In 2003, the museum signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Mission for Manuscripts, and was declared a manuscript conservation centre.

In 2006, a fire broke out in an auditorium in the museum premises. However, it was quickly extinguished and none of the artifacts were damaged.[6][7] After the incident, fire safety facilities were upgraded.[8]

Collections

Indian

The "Founder's Gallery" houses portraits of Salar Jung III, as well as other members of the Salar Jung family.

The Indian block includes jade-crafted daggers[9] of Jahangir, Nur Jahan and Shah Jahan; and weapons belonging to Aurangzeb, Tipu Sultan, Muhammad Shah, Bahadur Shah and Abul Hasan Qutb Shah.[10][11]

Lakshmi Narayan in granite, from the Vijayanagara period, 15th century CE
Indian collections of the Museum