Mission & History

Welcome to the World’s Leading Museum of Modern Art. It includes works of art created during the period stretching from about 1860 to the 20s, and denotes the styles and philosophy of art created in this era.

Welcome to the World’s Leading Museum of Modern Art. It includes works of art created during the period stretching from about 1860 to the 20s, and denotes the styles and philosophy of art created in this era.

Himachal State Museum Shimla is housed in an old Victorian mansion ‘Inverarm’ which was carefully altered to adapt it to the museum. Inverarm was a small mud roofed house in the early 1860 and belonged to General Innes, which later owned by the ruler of Sirmour and later taken over by the Imperial Government. It was then enlarged, and became for many years the private residence of Lord William Beresford, Military Secretary to the Viceroy. After Lord William Beresford left India it was occupied for some years by General Sir Edwin Collen, and next by Sir Edward Law, financial Member of the Council. Lately it had been the temporary home of Sir Sankaran Nair, and Sir Mohamed Shah and other Government officers.  In 1973 the building was transferred to open the Himachal State Museum and on 26th January, 1974 museum was inaugurated by the then Governor S. Chakravarti.

The Himachal State Museum is located on the Mall Road and has unique collectibles like ancient coins, paintings and other handicraft items, the aesthetics of which are influenced by the Pahari form of art. The museum also has a doll gallery which has several bride and groom dolls among many others which are admired by all visitors. Some archeological artifacts are also found here which include stone images from the 8th century. The heritage of Himachal Pradesh is stored in a beautiful building called ‘Inverarm’ built in hill architectural style on top of the hillock next to one which has the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Originals of paharl miniature paintings, the style that developed in the 17th century in these hills, are on display here. the stone and metal sculptures of the State, Chamba rumal with an embroidery work, know as painting with needle, exquisite wood work and masks, the doll corner, jewellery, weapons and contemporary art are other attractions of the Museum. Also called Shimla State Museum, is set on top of a hill, above the Chaura Maidan at Shimla. It is housed in a colonial building, known as Inverarm. One has to hike about 1500m to reach the colonial mansion housing the museum, but the rich collection exhibited here definitely makes it worth the effort. Simla State Museum has a rich collection of anthropological items, early 19th century Pahari miniature paintings and numismatic finds on display. All of these serve as evidences of the glorious cultural heritage and historical past of Himachal Pradesh. The artworks from ancient and modern times and splendid Pahari miniature paintings displayed here present the great art form of Northern India in its pristine form, free from any Western influences that crept in later. Exquisitely carved antique stone sculpture and bronze idols, weapons and armors of the time of yore and dolls can also be seen at the State Museum of Shimla. The section on paintings also has a number of Moghul and Rajasthani miniatures and a beautiful pair of watercolors from the ‘Company’. A collection of bronze idols from the temples scattered all around Himalayas never cease to amaze the viewers. Not to be forgotten are the contemporary oil paintings, which capture some of the most picturesque scenes from the Himalayas, and a small collection of the deity masks, found in the valleys of Kullu and Sarahan, which date back to 19th and 20th century. There is also a separate room dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India, displaying his photos when he visited Shimla and his political cartoons that comment on his relations with the British.

Objective:  To acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the artistic, historical, archaeological and ethnological human works in order that the future generation may have access to the cultural treasure it has inherited from the past.

Collection:  Museum has a rich collection of Sculptures, Pahari Miniature Paintings, Rajasthani and Mughal paintings, Wall paintings, Drawings, Contemporary Art  and craft, Bronzes, Arms, Woodcarvings, coins, jewellery, decorative arts, textiles, philately, Gandhi and anthropological objects.



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