Hyderabad to get India’s first Islamic Art Gallery

Expert consultation set to give artistic sophistication missing in many art galleries around the world

By Author  |  Published: 30th Aug 2017  12:21 am
Islamic Art Gallery
An offi cial inspecting the works in pr ogress at the proposed Islamic Art Gallery. Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: After throwing open two new attractions in the form of a Coins Gallery and a Children’s Gallery, Salar Jung Museum authorities are now busy completing work on an Islamic Art Gallery, said to be the first-of-its-kind in the country.

Hectic activity is in progress to complete the new project, for which work on the designated hall has been completed. An inventory of items to be displayed in the new gallery is being prepared, with museum authorities saying that there will be several new additions apart from the existing collection from the museum reserves.

Clinical planning and expert consultation of the gallery which has been on for over five years is set to give an artistic sophistication that is missing in many art galleries around the world, officials said.

“All Islamic-related art objects will be showcased in the Islamic Art Gallery. A special team of experts will be brought in to do the final selection of collectibles that will be showcased in the unique gallery,” M Veerender, Consultant, Salar Jung Museum, said.

The gallery will have a collection of over 2,500 artifacts including manuscripts, an Islamic Jade collection, arms and ammunitions, textiles, rare copies of the Holy, prayer rugs, ceramics and rosaries, to mention a few.

“No museum in the country has such a gallery. It is the third Islamic Art gallery in the entire world after the ones at the British Museum and Victoria Albert Museum in London,” A Nagender Reddy, Joint Director, SJM, said.

“The main purpose of setting up this gallery is to put everything about Islamic Art under one roof,” Reddy said.

According to the officials, the gallery will be opened by the end of this year or early next year. The 11,000 sqft gallery is being readied on the second floor of the Museum’s Eastern Block at a cost of Rs.4 crore.

European Furniture Gallery

The Museum authorities are also set to start work on a unique gallery devoted to the Salar Jung’s European Furniture Collection.

The European Furniture Gallery will comprise art objects ranging from resplendent and excellent examples of oil paintings, aesthetically attractive glass objects to majestic furniture, antique collections of European style utensils used in kitchens of ancient times, splendid examples of ivory, enamel ware and clocks, Museum officials said.

“The work on setting up the European Furniture Gallery will start next week on the second floor of the Museum’s Western Block,” Reddy said.

LED Lights installed in Galleries

In an attempt to reduce power consumption and adopt a green building concept, SJM authorities have replaced traditional lights in the galleries with LED lights.
“LED lights are not just cost ef