Government Central Museum, also known as Albert Hall Museum, is situated in the middle of the sprawling Ram Niwas Garden
, in Jaipur
. It is the oldest museum in the state, built in 1876 when King Edward VII visited India as the Prince of Wales. The museum building was designed by Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob in the modern Indo-Saracenic style. It was opened as a public museum in 1887.
Government Central Museum has separate sections for art and industry, armory, textiles, carpets, paintings, geology, zoology, botany and toys and dolls. Exhibits include a fine collection of sculptures, paintings, ivory carvings, decorative art objects, natural history specimens and an Egyptian mummy. Several miniature paintings of various sub-schools of Rajasthan are also on display.
Most noteworthy among the exhibit is a celebrated Persian Garden Carpet, obtained by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I from Shah Abbas of Persia. It features various sketches of a Persian garden with running water streams.
The central gallery, dedicated to Rajasthani music and dance, exhibits original musical instrument, both classical and folk in their functional positions.
Classical and folk dances including Kathak, Dandia, Jhumar and Holi Dance are illustrated in the museum. Festivals such as Holi and Gangaur and ceremonies are also depicted in a lively manner.
Government Central Museum is open from 10:30 to 16:30 hrs.