The Government Arts College, previously
known as the Government Arts College for Men, is an arts college based in the town
of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the oldest and prestigious educational
institutions in the Madras Presidency of British India.
The Government Arts College was established
in Kumbakonam as a provincial school on October 19, 1854. It was upgraded to a government
college in 1867 through the efforts of educationists William Archer Porter, a Cambridge
Wrangler, and T. Gopala Rao. It was affiliated to the Madras University in 1877.
In 1881, it became a full-fledged college and high school courses ceased to be taught.
Post-graduate courses were introduced in
1966. The present college buildings were constructed between 1871 and 1875. The
college became autonomous in 1987.