Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of British India (1899-1905) conceived the idea of establishing the Victoria Memorial Hall(VMH), Kolkata on death of Queen Victoria in 1901. It was intended to be a period museum in memory of the queen with particular emphasis on Indo-British History. Built on a 57-acre land and designed by Sir William Emerson (the then President of the Royal Institute of British Architecture), the splendour of the Memorial is evident in its architecture, which is predominantly Italian Renaissance in character, blended with nuances of Orientalism. The Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the Victoria Memorial Hall on 4 January 1906 and it was formally opened to public in 1921. It was declared an institution of National importance by the Government of India Act of 1935.
Today Victoria Memorial is considered to be one of the best example of the unique paradigm of the visual arts where four diverse fields of arts – architecture, sculpture, painting and gardening come together.