Gurusaday museum: A priceless collection of rare artefacts
Kolkata: The Gurusaday museum, set up in the year 1961, highlights the exquisite collection of Bengal's rare art and culture.
There are 2325 specimens collected by Gurusaday Dutt, an ICS officer, during his tenure as a district magistrate and collector between 1929 and 1939. An agreement was signed between the President of India and representatives of Gurusaday Dutta Folk Arts Society in 1984 over the maintenance of the museum.
Dutt, who had travelled to the West, thought that the art and folk of rural Bengal should be showcased to attract people from across the world.
The museum situated on Diamond Harbour Road off Joka is a treasure of folk art and culture. The museum provides an enormous collection of different kinds of kantha stitch that have been a part of Bengali tradition for decades. As one enters the museum, there are mesmerizing kantha stitch items towards the left and central part of the Museum.
There is the sujni kantha bed sheet with a central lotus surrounded by flowers, fish, elephants, tigers and birds, all stitched in geometric designs. There is also a huge collection of different designs of beytan kantha, durjani kantha and the arshilata kantha, which is used for covering mirrors, to protect it from dirt. The last one is the rumal kantha, which was and is still used in designing handkerchiefs. There are paintings from the 19th century undivided Bengal, showcasing various mythological characters like Labh-Kush, Radha-Krishna and Dissembling Vaishnava. There is a section of wooden masks with the face of Asuras.
The last gallery is a circular frame, with the upper frame containing terracotta plaques of temples, square paintings and wooden dolls. The lower frame has moulds for mango paste or aamshotto, sweet-meat mould, jewelleries made of paddy and shells, old musical instruments made in Birbhum, which include Dhol and Damaru.
However, the artefacts have to be maintained properly so that they can be preserved for years.