The Folklore Museum in Mysore is housed in the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion of University of Mysore. The palace as well as the surrounding 300 acres of land was acquired in 1956-1960 by Kuvempu, the first Kannada writer to win the Jnanpeeth award, when he was the university vice-chancellor. This bit of information is displayed in the Kuvempu room in the museum, along with photographs from his life. This museum has a collection of nearly 6,500 indigenously-made artefacts sourced from all over Karnataka.
Palaeolithic tools from excavations at Koppa district, Banavasi, Rajghatta are displayed on the ground floor of the museum. The area of the palace used as a marriage hall now holds displays of objects that belonged to writers and poets. These include their clothing, the pens they wrote with, watches, diaries, umbrellas, and their original writings. There is one display that houses objects owned by the poet Kodagina Gowramma which includes the Mysore sandal soap that was used by Mahatma Gandhi when he visited her.
A section of the museum is dedicated to folk performing arts such as Yakshagana and Kathakali; it houses ornaments, masks, and crowns used in these performances. Larger-than-life puppets share space with their smaller variety made of leather and wood, and straw dolls. Objects used in everyday life such as grinding stones and lamps also find place here.
In the outside area of the museum is a wooden chariot collected by P.R. Tippeswamy, the man who made the place what it is today. P.R. Tippeswamy, a folklorist, was the first curator of the museum. Prof. D. Javare Gowda and J. Paramashivaiah were the other scholars who contributed immensely to the building of the museum’s collection.