The Government Museum at Bangalore started functioning in a rented building during the year 1865 with the specimens donated by public. A separate building in the Cubbon Park was constructed by the Government on the lines adopted in the Western Countries. The new building was occupied in 1879 and the museum commenced functioning in the new building from 1880. Some of the specimens such as coins, sculptures, inscriptions, etc., excavated by the Department of Archaeology were given to the Museum and they are displayed. The museum at Bangalore is a multipurpose museum. Separate galleries for natural history, art, architecture, ethnology, etc., are provided.
With the small grant allotted by the Government, specimens on natural history, art and ethnology were acquired and added to the museum. In addition, some philanthropists have also donated rare specimens out of their collections to the museum. Since 1935, the collections of specimens by purchase, gift and “exchange were increasing. It was found” at the building was insufficient to present all the specimens on modern methods. The show cases, display stands and pedestals previously acquired had become obsolete and new ones had to be purchased. After Independence, the importance of museums in the country was keenly felt. During the 2nd and 3rd Five Year Plans, Government of India sanctioned financial assistance to the Government Museum, Bangalore for the construction of Museum Annexe, purchase of museum equipment and publication of picture post cards. The Central Advisory Board for Museums resolved for the establishment of regional museums in the country. In accordance with the decisions of the Central Advisory Board of Museums, the question of establishment of regional museums in the State of Mysore was taken up for serious consideration. Since then, the following regional museums have been established in the State.