press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Academy of Fine Arts, the heart of the city’s cultural activities, will pulsate with life once again as paintings by Rabindranath Tagore and renowned Bengal school artists are slated to go on view alongside some Tagore memorabilia over this weekend. Closed over seven years ago, these items were left to perish in the dark room even as the helmsmen of one of the country’s oldest such institutions were busy squabbling.
The Academy of Fine Arts, was established in 1933 and nurtured by Lady Ranu Mookerjee, a great patron of arts. She was wedded to Sir Biren, a pioneering entrepreneur of his times. But it is her association with the Nobel Laureate in his advanced years, which won her acclaim and the epithet of being his muse. It also paved the way for some of the most prized artworks of the country, coming to her keeps. Along with the Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the Academy and its museum were a must-see place for all visitors and had also been listed in city-guides like The Lonely Planet guidebook. However, it fell into bad days due to an indifferent administration that stacked up priceless objects of art and memorabilia. That is the way they were found: sun-dried and rain-lashed.
With a new governing body taking over the reins of the institution, efforts are on to improve the upkeep of the entire property including land, the imposing building, the sculptures, the paintings and the artefacts.
The Union Culture Ministry has also joined in the efforts, sanctioning Rs. 50 lakh for restoration of the museum and its collection.
“The Lucknow-based National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property has already conducted a survey of the artefacts,” Prasun Mukherjee, chairman of the present Trustee Board and former city Police Commissioner, told The Hindu during a sneak preview. The museum comes out of its seven-year hibernation with 78 of the collections on Sunday.
Of these 31 are works of Tagore. Also on display would be works of Abanindranath Tagore, Ramkinkar Beij, Nandalal Bose, DeviPrasad Roy Chowdhury, besides M F Hussain, S H Raza, Rathin Mitra and Dhiraj Choudhury.
The remaining ones — from among the 3,000 pieces — will have to await their turn to be restored and brought out in public. The list has 220 pieces by Jamini Roy, 82 by Gaganendranath Tagore, six of Abananindranath and 12 by Binode Behari Mukherjee. There are also work of Satyajit Ray, Desmond Doig , Ganensh Pain and Ganesh Haloi, Sailoz Mukherjee and Gyaltzen Sherpa.
From : The Hindu