Government Museum, Chennai
A miniature sheet consisting of 3 nos of commemorative postage stamps on the 151st Anniversary of the Madras Museum, 2nd oldest museum in India :
Issued on Jun 19, 2003
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a set of three postage stamps and a miniature sheet as part of the year-long celebrations of the 151st anniversary of the Government Museum, Chennai.
Design : The first stamp depicts Natesa, a 12th century A.D. Bronze from Thanjavur district. The image is notable for its vigour and details of ornamentation. The second stamp carries a picture of the century-old Museum Theatre, a heritage building in semi-circular shape with striking architectural features. A sculptured medallion (circa 150 A.D.) from Amravati figures on the third stamp, which tells a story related to king Bandhuma. Its craftsmanship is of the highest order. The miniature sheet depicts some of the other remarkable exhibits of the museum also.
Stamps, Miniature Sheet, Sheetlets & FDC : Kamleshwar Singh
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 500, 500 & 1500 Paise
Overall size : 2.85 x 2.90, 2.85 x 5.80 cms.
Printing size : 2.85 x 2.90, 2.85 x 5.80 cms.
Perforation : 13.5 x 13.5 mm
Paper : Matt Chromo
Printed quantity :
Stamps : 0.8 million each
Mini. sheets : 0.1 million
Number per issue sheetlet : 20, 10
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Calcutta Security Printers Ltd.
- There has been a notable change in the role and functions of museums in recent times. They are not passive storehouses of antiques and artifacts any more, but dynamic centres of knowledge and learning, which inform, educate and on occasions, even entertain.
- Museums in the modern sense were brought to India by the British with the setting up of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1814. However, fragments of the museum concept have always been there, as borne out by the picture galleries of pre-historic caves found in different parts of the country, particularly the likes of the Bhimbetka caves of Madhya Pradesh. These concepts evolved further through temple panels, stupas and chitrasalas (painting galleries), in the process giving rise to an idiom of visual communication that is typically Indian. Later, during the British period, much emphasis was laid upon the creation of museums and a number of them came up in different cities and towns. In independent India, museums acquired a new dimension as promoters of national integration and international understanding.
- The Government Museum, Chennai is one of the largest and oldest of India’s museums and is considered an institution of excellence because of its varied collections, communicative galleries, conservation efforts and educational activities. Beginning as a museum of practical Geology in 1851, its scope was extended considerably over the years to cover various fields of knowledge. The pace of re-organisation and development of the museum increased after independence and the displays acquired a nationalistic character. Today the Chennai Museum is a large multipurpose museum covering a wide range of subjects and is organised into sections like Archaeology, Art, Anthropology, Numismatics, Zoology, Botany, Geology and Children’s. There is a well-equipped Chemical Laboratory for the conservation of museum objects and an Education Section for carrying out the educational activities. The Design and Display Section organises the display work of the Museum. These sections contain extensive collections illustrating mostly the past history, culture and natural history of South India and are manned by qualified professionals.
- The Government Museum, Chennai presents to the people their own culture through various pieces of collective heritage, without removing the social context. Its success shows that with proper management, funding and communication strategies, museums showcasing India’s rich culture and hoary past can be great sources of inspiration to the nation.
- Text : P.N. Ranjit Kumar (Based on material furnished by the Commissioner of Museums, Chennai).