Saturday, 7 January 2017

Oldest Art and Craft institution in India, chennai


The Government Fine Arts College, Chennai,en.wikipedia.org/
 During the British rule when Madras was the major center of power, the administration to their surprise, found out that the natives of Madras and the surrounding areas were exceptionally talented in the area of arts and crafts. They also realized that the natives had a good grasping mind and ability to learn complicated things very easily as confirmed by their culture, religion and innumerable huge temples of great antiquity intricately designed and built by them through several centuries.   Hence the British had established a settlement in and around Madras, Georgetown was chosen to establish an institute to train students to meet the artistic expectations of the royals and aristocrats inEngland.

Government College Of Fine Arts - Egmore, Chennai. The Urge To Wander
The Government College of Fine Arts (initially known as the Madras School of Art) in Chennai is the oldest and first art institution in India. It is older than the  University of Madras. Established in 1850 by surgeon Alexander Hunter as a private art school, for an unknown reason, it was taken over in 1852 by the EIC - proxy British government and  was renamed as the Government School of Industrial Arts. Hunter introduced  drawing, engraving and pottery and an Industrial Department focussing on building materials and embellishments. After India's independence, it came under the control of the state government and in 1962 when the Congress party of India was in power, the name was  again  changed finally to the Government College of Arts and Crafts, before finally being renamed as present. At first, traditional artists were employed to produce furniture, metalwork, and curios, and their work was sent to the royal palaces of the Queen. The school  located at Popham’s Broadway in 1852, it was moved over to its present premises, a small spread of four-acre campus on Poonamallee High Road.
 

Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury  who joined as its vice-principal in 1928  became its first Indian principal in the following year util his position was taken over in by  1957 K.C.S. Paniker.

In 1966, Former principal K.C.S. Paniker, his students and some artists of this institution in 1966  founded near  Chennai  what was known as the Cholamandal Artists' Village, a typical  model rural village as one would see in the interior parts of India. Today it is still considered as one of the '10 biggest art moments' in India.
 

Courses leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees (Faculty of Engineering) in painting, sculpture, visual communication, commercial arts, textile design, graphic arts and ceramics. It offers postgraduate programs in painting, visual communication, textile designs and ceramics. In 2009, it started offering a course leading to the master's degree in Fine Arts in sculpture.

Tit_Bits:





01. This institution was dear to the heart of English architect Rober Chisholm  who artistically designed several buildings in Chennai that are a testimony to his ingenuity in the area of  building deign.

02. The year 1855  saw the new course  Photography introduced by Hunter and in the following year founding of the Photographic Society of Madras with Walter Elliot, who rescued the Amaravathi panels.
  
03. Upon Hunter's  retirement in 1868, his successor Chisholm introduced  Metal Working Department and working with aluminum in India. He encouraged  art work and artifacts

03. This building, like many  heritage s are poorly maintained and in a state of neglect. Further, lack of facilities and infrastructure is a major complaint now,

Ref:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_College_of_Fine_Arts,_Chennai