Academy of Fine ArtsA brief history

Academy of Fine Arts was established in 1933 as a non-governmental institution of culture. Maharaja Prodyot Kumar Tagore was the first president of it, and he was well acknowledged by his family’s vast history of art. For ten years he was the steward of the institute. It didn’t have its own building at that time. The annual exhibitions of the Academy of fine arts were held in the Indian Museum building which is situated on the Chowringhee road. The building went up later on the no. 2 cathedral road. But before that, the activities were secluded to annual exhibitions and exhibitions held for old masters and great artists. In the year 1960, the building became complete at the invited visit of then prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and the celebrated violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

At the concert of the celebrated violinist at the Empire Theatre in Calcutta. Sri Nehru and Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy had a discussion, and it was perceived that an art gallery in Calcutta is much needed to display the sculptures and the contemporary arts for interested visitors. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy consigned Lady Ranu Mukherjee to choose the land for the building. He apparently sent the police commissioner and his home secretary to help Lady Mukherjee in choosing the site. The site was selected, now where the institute is now. The trustees of the Academy of fine arts helped in the building from 1959 to 1960. The funds for it were donated by Lady Mukherjee’s husband, Sir Biren Mukherjee, the son of Sir Rayen Mukherjee. The first chairman of the academy’s board of trusted was Sir Biren Mukherjee. On 11th September of 1960, the academy had its first exhibition in the new building with 50 paintings by Nandalal Bose.

Why should you visit The Academy of fine arts?

If you’re an art enthusiast and visiting Kolkata, you must visit this place. In the entire country, it’s one of the oldest places that comprises highly art and culture. As an enthusiast or not, this place will make you believe the old master’s talent in art. The arts you will experience here they are-

  • A huge collection of arts by Gaganendranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Nandalal Basu, and so many other eminent artists.
  • Apart from the paintings of these great masters, you will get to experience other contemporary arts and exhibitions of various Indian artists.
  • Beautiful paintings and sculptures of India from 1900 to this day will be found in the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
  • Gallery of Old Textiles are filled with old and rare textiles which are just awesome to look at.
  • Gallery of Miniature Paintings consists of 18 miniature paintings of Ram-Sita series of the very famous Indian epic Ramayana.
  • The Carpet Gallery has the exclusive collection of carpets which you cannot afford to miss at any cost.

The third floor now has a new wing, which was built in the year 1982. This part consists of the artworks of British and Indian painters from the 18th to 19th century displayed. Academy of fine arts also has an art library and a Gallery of Contemporary Graphics which interests the visitors. The theatre can be easily spotted from Rabindra Sadan metro station. So, whenever you’re visiting Kolkata the city of joy, make sure that you visit the Academy of Fine Arts.