M3 Features

Restoration of Gurusaday Museum

April 25, 2014

Various forms of folk art - from ‘ancient kantha’ works to wooden crafts, from patachitra to masks, are locked inside boxes. Gurusaday museum’s authority is making an effort to raise fund to showcase the traditional collection they have.

Chopolabala Ray had documented the pictures of rustic social life in ‘kantha’ works throughout her life. Manadasundari Dasi after becoming a widow came back to her father’s place and did the same thing. Many of them created beautiful works weaving the stories of life.

Apart from these, door frames of ancient temple, old cards, various types of patachitra, scrollpainting which altogether will cross 2,300, were collected by Gurusaday Dutta. With the collections of a decade which started from 1929, the museum was built in five bigha land, 51 years back.

Though the collection has now surpassed 4 thousand but for visitors only 700 are being showcased. Among the 110 collected ‘kantha’ only 35 are displayed in the gallery. Many priceless books among the vast collection which were collected by Gurusaday Dutta himself are lying in neglect due to financial crisis and absence of manpower.

The museum building also has library and preservation unit apart from the gallery. Seven feet long and 5 feet wide ‘suchni kantha’, double sided designed ‘do-rokha kantha’, patachitra of Kalighat, ‘Doshabotar tash’ which are indigenous cards of Bengal are the unique items displayed in the gallery.

To display more items a new bhavan is being constructed on 2,400 sq. feet area. To complete the work they need financial support for which MPLAD fund is being sought for. The authority has also asked for support from central textile ministry. Monthly magazines like ‘Bongolokkhi’ introduced in the year 1929 by Gurusaday Dutta  and periodicals by him like ‘Gramer Daak’ in the same year to inspire the young generation, are getting damaged in the library and needs attention.

In 2008, 55 scroll paintings were restored with the aid of 12 lakh rupees given by the centre. Restoration works for the small paintings are being attempted here only told Bijan Kumar Mondol, the functional secretary of the museum.

The authority is eager to make the present generation familiar with the folk artistry of Bengal and throw a light upon the collector, Gurusodoy Dutta.

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