Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Work on to `restore' rare paintings

Courtsey : TheTimesofIndia.com

PATNA: City-based College of Arts And Crafts has initiated the process of restoration of all its heritage paintings of Bengal Renaissance, Patna

Kalam and miniatures of different styles.

These 300-odd rare paintings, in possession of the college since 1940s, are in bad shape and have not been treated and documented so far. Several art lovers had earlier expressed concern over the pitiable condition of these paintings.

Experts of the Indian Association of Study of Cultural Artefacts, a wing of Patna Museum, have prepared a list of such paintings. Four conservators of National Museum-Delhi are in the city to do the restoration work, and the same has been completed on 70 paintings of `Patna Kalam'. The four-member conservation team includes Parminder Kaur and Ramesh Kalra, college principal Anunaya Chaubey said, adding the department of higher education has released Rs 10 lakh for the purpose.

Rare paintings of legendary artists like Jamini Roy, Nand Lal Bose, Abanindra Nath Tagore, Ram Kinker Vaid, Upendra Maharathi, Binod Bihari Mukherjee and Walter Langhammer would be treated by the conservation experts to restore their old glory. All these paintings are in diverse media like oil, tempera and water colour.

The national museum, in its report, has said that the College of Arts and Crafts has the best collection of art in the country. "Worried about their condition, I decided to get these rare paintings restored so that art lovers can see them," Chaubey told TOI and added a four-day workshop has also been organized from November 5 to familiarise the college students with the conservation work.

Once the conservation work ends, all these paintings would be put on display at the college's art gallery for public viewing, Chaubey said, adding city- based Takshila Education Society has agreed to provide support for displaying the paintings in the gallery.

The paintings would be properly catalogued and a website dedicated to these paintings created for the world to know about them. "Art lovers are not even aware about our rich collection," Chaubey said.