Exhibition I Saw : National Museum New Delhi – Online Collection

For EXHIBITION I SAW, D’s Art Takes and Divvya Nirula bring you Top-Hit’s of Gallery and Museum Exhibits we’ve visited. Today we look at National Museum New Delhi – Online Collection.

The National Museum New Delhi was inaugurated on 15th August 1947 by Shri R.C. Rajgopalachari, the then Governor-general of India. At the time, the collection and museum were housed in Rashtrapati Bhavan. In 1955, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation for the Museum’s present building. 5 years later, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan inaugurated the first phase of the museum. Over 2 decades after that, the second wing was opened. Needless to say, the museum is one of the city’s biggest cultural treasures. It is home to numerous artworks and artefacts that are representative of the Indian identity.

A large part of the Museum’s permanent collection is available for online viewing. In the time of the Coronavirus pandemic, we thought this is the perfect opportunity to visit their virtual art database.

The first thing to note while browsing the collection is that is is not like a curated virtual tour. That being said, artefacts are presented by category and time period, ensuring ease of access to all digital visitors. The categories of artefacts listed include :

1. Archeology – This section is further subdivided into different time periods. Such as Mauryan Collection, Buddhist Collection etc.

2. Anthropology – This category gives an overview of the Museum’s collection and types of objects.

3. Arms & Armour – Presents highlights of special weapons used to famous kings and princes of India.

4. Central Asian Antiquities – Goes beyond geographical boundaries. It presents objects from China and other neighbouring countries.

5. Decorative Arts – From pottery and textiles, to carpets and shawls.

6. Jewellery – Showcases some of the most exquisite local craftsmanship in history.

7. Manuscripts – Presents literature from the courts of various Indian kings and princes through history.

8. Numismatics & Epigraphy – While this gallery appears to lack any images, it gives a brief history of Indian coins and their production.

9. Paintings – Showcases various styles of Indian painting through the courts of various Maharajas. From Miniature to murals, find it all here.

10. Pre-Columbian & Western Arts – Includes objects brought over from Peru, Egypt and beyond. Showcasing a diversity in medium and style. Comparing and contrasting the local with the foreign.

11. Pre-history – The section consists both utilitarian and decorative objects. Rendered in a multiplicity of media.

While each section only presents a few highlighted objects, the collection is adequately extensive. It provides an excellent overview and is both engaging and easy to navigate. We definitely recommend to browse through the National Museum New Delhi Online Collection!


To read more insights and reviews into top exhibitions around the globe, visit Exhibition I Saw.