About Us

About the Museum

The name of the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art, Hyderabad, is now familiar to the lovers and scholars of Indian Art for the exquisite art objects it possesses.  The Museum owes its birth, as its name denotes, to the well known collection of Indian art lovingly assembled over sixty years by the visionary artist couple, Jagdish Mittal and his wife, Kamla. They created on 30th March, 1976, an irrevocable Public Trust named Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art, to set up a Museum in Hyderabad.

The Museum specializes in the traditional arts and crafts produced in the Indian subcontinent between the 1st century BC and 1900 A.D.  It consists of about 2000 objects which include miniature paintings and drawings (which form about fifty percent of the collection), manuscripts, Islamic calligraphy, folk and classical bronzes, terracottas, wood carving, ivory, glass,  jade, metalware (in bronze, brass, copper, silver, bidri) and textiles.  There are also some Nepali and Tibetan tankas and metal images.

The Museum is particularly rich in Indian miniature paintings, with representative examples spanning a period from about 1200 A.D. to the end of the 19th century.  They include all the important schools like the Western Indian or Gujarati, Rajasthani, Mughal, Pahadi (Punjab Hill States), Central Indian, Deccani, South Indian, Bengali, Orissan, as well as the Company period and Folk styles. All art objects were assembled by the Mittals chiefly for their aesthetic excellence. However, they are commendable for their art historical significance and for their subject matter.  Some are crucial for scholars, since they are the only known examples from a particular school.  This was because Mr.Mittal, apart from being an artist with keen eye for art, is also a serious art historian.  It was the dedication of the couple and their almost religious fervour for art collection that such an achievement could have been possible.


Recognition Of The Quality Of The Collection

Since the 1950’s the Mittal’s collection, in course of time achieved such a name that virtually every important scholar and collector of Indian art has considered it mandatory to visit Hyderabad and view the collection. Among them were Rai Krishna Das, Karl J.Khandalawala, Dr Moti Chandra, Dr W.G. Archer, Dr M.S.Randhawa, Dr Mulk Raj Anand, Stuart Cary Welch, Robert Skelton, C. Sivaramamurti, Dr Pramod Chandra, Dr Douglas Barrett, Dr John Irwin, Dr Mattiebelle Gittinger, Pupul Jayakar, Dr Daniel Ehnbom, Dr Milo Beach, Dr Ashok Das, Dr Jyotindra Jain and Martand Singh. After the collection was given to the Museum, several eminent Indian artists have seen the collection, and many scholars and connoisseurs from USA, UK, Europe and various parts of India have made special trips, in groups of 20 or 30, to have private viewing of the collection. Notably, several Nobel Laureate scientists have come to see the collection. This list indicates the states and esteem in which the collection is held.


Organised Lectures

The Museum organises illustrated lectures by eminent scholars of Indian and Islamic Art. Dr Pramod Chandra, Dr Anna Dallapiccola, Dr Annemarie Schimmel, Dr Mildred Archer, Dr Milo Beach, Dr Jyotindra Jain, Dr Ebba Koch, Dr Ashok Das, Dr Daniel Ehnbon and Dr John Seyller are among the important speakers.

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