The eminent Indian ICS officer, Gurusaday Dutt, esq. collected over 3,000 artifacts in the course of his entire career, spanning from 1905-1941. The bulk of the artifacts were collected between 1929 and 1939. After his passing away his belongings, especially the artifacts, were collected in an estate which was placed under the supervision of a trust of which the two original trustees were his brother-in-law, Major (Honorary) Basanta Kumar De, Commercial Traffic Manager (retired), of the BNR, who was the family nominee on the board of the trust and Shri Subimal Ray, Bar-at-law, formerly Judge of the Supreme Court of India, who was the legal adviser to the trust. Dutt's son, Birendrasaday Dutt, esq., formerly of the Burma Shell, was also closely involved in the management of these artifacts. Based on the recommendations made by the two members of the trust and his son the Bengal Bratachari Society founded the museum. Later, these artifacts were shifted to the newly established museum built in Joka, Kolkata. The museum building was formally opened in the presence of the then chief minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Ray in 1961 and the galleries were opened in the presence of the education minister of India, Professor Humayun Kabir in 1963. The museum was administered by Dutt's daughter-in-law, Aroti Dutt, who was its long time chairperson. The historian, Barun De, was a family nominee on the board of the museum for several years. The museum is an autonomous body, which has been under the guidance of the Ministry of Textiles of the Government of India since 1984.
Its collection includes archaeological objects, deities, manuscripts, masks, musical instruments, paintings, textiles and woodwork.
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