Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Vastu Sangrahalaya

formerly prince of wales museum of western india

 

Milestones

Timeline

  • August 14, 1904:
    A group of prominent citizens gathered at the Town Hall and resolved to erect a Museum building to honour the visit of the Prince of Wales. The meeting was attended by Sir Phirozeshah Mehta, Justice Chandravarkar, Justice Badrudin Tyabji, Narotamdas Gokuldas, David Sassoon, Jamshetjee Jeejeebhoy, Kikabhai Premchand and others. Finally, the Museum was established with the public contribution aided by the Government of Bombay Presidency.

  • November 11, 1905:
    The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales (later King George V) and the Museum was named Prince of Wales Museum of Western India.

  • 1905:
    The collection of the Museum started almost simultaneously with the foundation of the Museum building.

  • 1909:
    The winning entry by architect George Wittet (Consulting Architect to Government), was selected after an open competition. Wittet was well known for the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture of which the Museum building is one of the best examples.

  • 1909:
    The Prince of Wales Act was passed.

  • 1911:
    The statue of Prince of Wales (sculpted by George T Wade), commemorating the visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince (George) and Princess (Mary) of Wales was donated by David Sassoon.

  • 1909 to 1914:
    Construction of the building began in 1909 and was completed in 1914. The cost of the block and the necessary additions and alterations amounted to about rupees nine lakhs. During, the construction, the collection was stored in the Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society basement, now known as the Asiatic Library.

  • 1914:
    During, the war, the building was used by the military as a hospital and subsequently for the Children’s Welfare Exhibition.

  • 1915:
    The Museum acquired Indian miniatures and other antiquities from the well-known collection of Seth Purushottam Mavji that was once a part of the treasures of Nana Phadnis (1741-1800 A.D.).

  • 1919:
    The famous excavated artefacts from the Buddha stupa of Mirpurkhas (now in West Pakistan) were brought to the Museum by its excavator Henry Cousens.

  • April 1921:
    The building was formally handed over to the Board of Trustees by the Public Works Department.

  • 1921:
    The guidebook was published.

  • January 10, 1922:
    The Museum was opened to the public at 5.15 p.m. by Her Excellency, the Honourable Lady Lloyd, wife of Lord Lloyd, the Governor of Bombay.

  • July 3, 1923:
    The Natural History Section was jointly established by the Bombay Natural History Society and the Trustees of the Museum. Dr. Salim Ali, the famous ornithologist, was the first Guide lecturer of this section.

  • 1922 and 1933:
    The major art collection of Sir Ratan Tata and Sir Dorab Tata were respectively bequeathed to this Museum. The Tata collection comprises two major sections, the European and the Far Eastern. Some outstanding Indian antiquities such as textiles, arms, bronzes and paintings formed part of this magnanimous gift. Lady Ratan Tata donated the furniture for the galleries.

  • 1921-22:
    R D Banerjee, who discovered Mohenjodaro, was Honorary Curator of the Archaeological Section.

  • May 1927:
    J F Jacobs was the first Secretary of the Museum.

  • 1934:
    The Museum was also enriched by the gift of antiquities from the Sir Akbar Hydari collection.

  • 1995:
    A very interesting and valuable collection was added from Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Trust.

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