The Art section of the museum was an integral part of Archaeology section until 1983 AD. The Museum had a collection of 400 objects from which 54 selected objects were displayed in the National Art Gallery at the time of its establishment in 1951 AD. The elegant pink building which is a well known Landmark of the city is an example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. At present, it is under renovation and closed for public. The metal ware, wood carvings, Ivory and sandalwood objects and traditional paintings which were exhibited in this building have been shifted to the adjacent Contemporary Art Gallery.

The Contemporary Art Gallery was established in January 1984 AD, after its bifurcation from the Archaeology Section. It has a collection of One thousand and two hundred art objects and paintings. Paintings of eminent artists in India from various Art schools are represented including the modern works of D.P.Roy Chowdhury, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy and artists from Tamilnadu such as Adhimoolam, Vaidhyanathan and others.

The Ground floor is used for permanent special exhibition. In the first floor, traditional and modern paintings are displayed aesthetically grouped according to their style and media on which they have been executed such as water colours on paper, tempera, oil on canvas, acrylic, mixed media etc. The Traditional Arts section consists of Kangra, Tanjore, and South Indian School of art. Tanjore paintings depict the figures of Tanjore Maratha Kings and Queens and puranic (mythological) scenes from Tamil literature... The Kangra paintings represent Krishna legends as the main theme. There are 12 life size portraits of British Governors and Governor-Generals with decorated frames. There are 12 Raja Ravi Varma's Paintings with decorated frames. A four seater Governor's Coach used by the erstwhile British Government for ceremonial functions is also exhibited.

The Rock and Cave art Gallery in the second , where the roof of this building is under repair, stimulates the natural environment of caves using latest techniques of sound and light display. It leads the visitors on a half an hour journey through some of the remote rock art sites like Perumukkal in South Arcot, Alambadi, Keezhvalai in Villupuram district, Vellarikombai and Iduhatti in Nilgiris district. Cave art and sculptures at Tirumalai in Thiruvannamalai district, Sithannavasal and Thirukokarnam in Pudukottai district and Mahabalipuram are also realistically represented here. The Holography gallery is an experimental venture to represent some very rare and precious artifacts, jewellery, and coins medals etc as 3D projections.


Students from School of Architecture, Engineering Colleges, College of Arts and Crafts, Students of Visual Communication and Graphics can do Project work on art and architecture. Research scholars can study the rich and varied art collections and avail the guidance and research facilities offered by the Section.


Selected art model objects are lent to schools for their exhibitions. This section conducts, Workshops, Special Exhibitions and Training programmes for students, scholars and general public. Gallery talks and lectures are given by the Curator to College students and teachers.