The CALCUTTA GALLERY, India's first city gallery, was visualised by Lord Curzon, at the turn of the century. The matter was taken up in mid- 1970s by Prof. S. Nurul Hasan, then Education Minister, Government of India.
In 1986, Prof. Nurul Hasan became the Governor of West Bengal and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Memorial. He took the initiative to see the Victoria Memorial emerge as the focal point of academic and tourist interest in Calcutta.
In November1988, Prof. Hasan invited specialists to a brain storming international seminar on Historical Perspectives for the Calcutta tercentenary. Everyone welcomed the idea of a permanent Calcutta Gallery at the Victoria Memorial. The design concept was developed by Dr. Ashin Dasgupta and Dr. Barun De, of the Calcutta Gallery sub-committee. Mr. Vikas Satwalkar, Director of the National Institute of Design had helped to inspect and recommend the work, which was done under the guidance of Mr. Tridibesh Sanyal and Mr. Siddhartha Ghosh of Tangram Design Pvt. Ltd. The air conditioning was sponsored by Mr. B. M. Khaitan of Macneill & Magor. Beside all these, the total work was done under the supervision of Mr. Hiren Chakraborty, then Secretary and Curator of the Memorial.
The Calcutta Gallery displays the history and development of Calcutta from Job Charnok and the British rule upto 1911,when the capital was shifted to Delhi.
The gallery also has a life size diorama of the view of the Chitpur road in the late 19th century. Chitpur was the main business centre in those days, presently known as the Burabazar area.

     
Paintings and documents on display.
 The painting of Ram Mohan Roy on display .
 The neighbourhood of Chitpur(19th century) recreated with models.

Below are some of the paintings & pictures on display at the CALCUTTA GALLERY

   
 Goddess Kali- a Bat-tala print by Beni Madhab Bhattacharjee.
 Palanquin --one of the early form of transport in the 17th & 18th century at Calcutta.
   
 Pykar or peddlers (Local marchants) selling things to the Europeans -- sketch by Mrs Belnos, drawn on stone by A. Collin, 1832.
An engraving normally used to illustrate books done at Chitpur (called Chitpur prints)
   
 Devendranath Tagore
(Father of Noble Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore)
 Card Players - oil painting by
Bhabani Charan Laha
   
 Motorcars in front of the Firpo's Restaurant, on Chowringhee Road, early 20th century. The first motor car appeared on Calcutta's street in 1896, taxis began to ply ten years later.
  The pontoon bridge between Calcutta and Howrah survived till the late 1930s, later converted to a permanent bridge -known as Howrah Bridge.
   
 Bipin Behari Dutta- the extremist leader, oil painting by R.B. Dutta.
 Michael Madhusudan Dutt -a poet who wrote both in English and Bengali equally well and one of the pioneers of the New Bengal movement.