The Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta, India is one of the oldest and best arts societies in India. It was started in 1933 and started in a room on loan from the Indian Museum. The annual exhibitions hosted by the academy were held on the verandah of the room.
History of the Academy of Fine Arts:
The Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta had a humble beginning in a small room loaned by the Indian Museum. In the 1950’s the Indian President, Sri Jawaharlal Nehru visited a concert of noted violinist, Yehudi Menuhin in Calcutta. During the concert, Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy had a discussion where it was decided that Calcutta should have its own art gallery. Dr. Roy asked Lady Ranu Mookerjee, a member of the Academy of Fine Arts to select a land for starting an art gallery. The site for the Academy of Fine Arts was chosen by Lady Mookerjee the next day. The building for the Academy of Fine Arts was built during 1959-1960 with funds from the Chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees.
Lessons at the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta:
The Academy of Fine Arts has changed and modified its technique of painting over the years. At the beginning of the twentieth century many artists used oil paints in accordance with western techniques. Abanindranath’s Indian styles were considered outdated by them. There was another class of painters that believed in carrying forward the traditional Indian art styles. With time the distinction between the two styles of painting began to be blurred. Nowadays all artists have their individual styles and visions. Even the subject of the paintings has changed. Legendary and divine subjects have become more or less obsolete. The Academy of Fine Arts has advanced by keeping a tangible link with the contemporary art situation. The annual exhibitions held by the academy showcase art from all over India.
The academy offers a lot of training programs too. Artists have the opportunity to study live models and can also avail of a studio cum sketching Club. The academy offers special painting and sculpture classes for children. The Academy of Fine Arts has played a major role in increasing the number of art practitioners all over India as well as increase the quality and excellence of their performances.