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Hyderabad Art Society turns 70

Staff Reporter

Launches its website; organises painting exhibition



HOARY COMPILER: Art lover at the painting exhibition organised by the Hyderabad Art Society at Muse Art Gallery, Hotel Marriott on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad Art Society, the oldest confederation of the city artists, celebrated its 70 {+t} {+h} anniversary by launching its website www.hyderabadartsociety.com on December 18. On this occasion, the society also organised a painting exhibition at the Muse Art Gallery of the Hotel Marriott.

The society, formed in 1941, is a hoary compiler and chronicler of the city's art history and heritage. Its establishment was set in the aftermath of the advent of photography which dethroned the miniature artists from their lofty positions. There were no schools of art then, and art education flourished only as a family tradition. At the time of the formation of the society, very few artists depended on art for livelihood, Khan Bahadur Syed Ahmed and Jalaluddin being a few names of reckoning.

R.W. Deuskar who was deployed by the Nawab Salarjung to make copies of the European paintings, Qayyum Saheb who painted backdrops for dramas and Sardar Nek Chand who made portraits were a few more noteworthy names. None of them, however, had individual style. Nor did any art work fetch more than Rs.50.

To improve the sorry state of affairs, a few enlightened members of the society including Prime Minister of Nizam the VII Akbar Hydari, Salarjung III, Nawab Mehdi Nawaz Jung and L.N.Gupa came together and began the first Government School of Arts and Crafts in 1940. After a year, the Hyderabad Art Society was formed under the presidency of Salarjung Mir Yousuf Ali Khan.

The society has since conducted several hundreds of national and international shows, workshops, seminars, and lectures over the decades, and grown to a membership of 184. It has provided a platform for local artists to exhibit their talent through its annual competitions and awards.

Internationally renowned artists such as M.F.Hussain, V.S.Gaitonde, K.H.Ara, K.K.Hebber, Nandlal Bose, Shanti Dave, Akbar Padamsee, and P.V.Janakiram were among those who participated in the society's annual exhibitions and won awards.

The society also had a role to play in the emergence of eminent artists from the city such as T.Vaikuntham, P.Gouri Shankar, Bairu Raghuram, K.Rajaiah, and K.Seshagiri Rao among others.

With its office on the premises of All India Industrial Exhibition Society, the society is in active collaboration with Central and State Lailit Kala Academies.

Luminaries such as Masood Ahmed, P.T.Reddy, and Jagdish Mittal involved actively with the society and helped it grow.

The website will have profiles of city-based artists and display works of 64 among them, informed the society's Board member P.Narendranath.

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