Hyderabad: Expo revisits Salar Jung Museum formation

Hyderabad: An exhibition organised on the occasion of Salar Jung Museum Formation Day i.e., December 16, was inaugurated by Dr A Nagender Reddy, Director, Salar Jung Museum, at Western Block of the museum, here on Monday.The museum said Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Bahadur popular as Salar Jung III was known for his rare collection of art, antiquities and curiosities, brought together from various parts of the world.

The collection was arranged in the shape of a museum and declared open to public by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on December 16, 1951. Following the death of Salar Jung III in March, 1949, and since remained bachelor throughout his life and had no direct descendants, the Government of India appointed a committee by virtue of a special ordinance to administer the affairs of the Salar Jung Estate.
MK Velodi, the then Chief Civil Administrator of the Hyderabad State approached Dr James Cousins, a well-known art-critic, to organise the various objects of art and curiosities which were lying scattered in different palaces of Salar Jung III, in the form of a museum.Following the suggestion of Dr Cousins, the services of G Venkatachalam, an art-critic, were taken for the purpose.

The venue of the proposed museum was to be Dewan Deodi, the ancestral palace of the Salar Jungs and where Mir Yousuf Ali Khan lived all his life. Control and supervision of the affairs of this newly born museum was with the Salar Jung Estate Committee, the museum recalled in a press release.After organising the Salar Jung Museum at Dewan Deodi the Oriental and the Western Collections were displayed in 77 big and small rooms.

The Children’s Section and the Library, in two separate wings of the Dewan Deodi were the two other important sections of the museum. In addition, there was Photography Section and a Chemical Conservation Laboratory. In the Dewan Deodi, the collection on display was divided into three main sections – Eastern Section, Western Section and the Jade Room, apart from the Children’s Section, which included exhibits pertaining to the interest of children from all the three sections. The Salar Jung Museum was in Dewan Deodi till 1968, the museum officials said.