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Absence of any gallery willing to display the works of two young artists in Calcutta had once sent to the duo to Delhi hoping that legendary Professor of art BC Sanyal could somehow help the hapless fellows. BC Sanyal was a benglai himself, so the duo pitted their hope on him.

But if BC Sanyal was legendary not only for being a helpful man but also because of vicious temper. Seeing two young artists fro favour, he got furious. "If you call yourself artists, you must have the guts of an artist", he thundered, "and face the art-world in all its harshness."

The duo lost hope and felt like abandoning art for ever. Sensing that he had been a little more rude than required, Sanyal now called the duo back to his chamber and said some encouraging soft words. "persevere", he said, "time will recognise a true talent". He was BC Sanyal. and for the two artists such kind words from such a great man was enough to egg them to stay on and try their luck for another five years.

Years later these artists are going to emerge as two of finest India's artists. the are Somenath Hore and Arun Bose.

The harshness of the art world have often made artists take the decision of abandoning art for ever. There are many such artists who have taken such decisions at least once in their life time. Read more .









In the beginning, there used to be no exclusive galleries for art-exhibitions in India. Artists like Abanindranath Tagore and others used to use the premises of their own houses or those of their friends for such shows. They were meant not for sale but for simple display.  Then in 1907, the Indian   society of Oriental   Arts   was   established with a permanent address of 12 Samavaya Mansion. But this Society allowed only the society-members to put up their show. The Society included names like Abanindranath Tagore, Gagnendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose and others. The artists of the new Rebel Centre which too had important emerging names like Jamini Roy, Pradosh Dasgupta and Hirachand Dugar had to therefore hold their first Group Show in the balcony of the Indian Museum of Calcutta. For three consecutive years this was the only gallery available to the avant-garde artists of the time.

In 1914, with the patronage of the Maharaja Pradyot Kumar, this exhibition was brought to a private residence.

Artists also had no regular studios in those days. At the Tagore House at Jorasanko , artists, poets, singers all gathered together for chit-chatting, famously called the Bengali adda. Annually at the Jorasanko House, exhibitions were also held.

In 1933, an important development took place as Lady Ranu Mukherjee established the academy of Fine Arts. But the Academy got its permanent Maidan Building a year later because of the efforts made by Sir Biren Mukherjee, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Academy of Fine Arts, and  other donors.

An important Private gallery of the time was GC Laha Gallery. This was older than the Academy of Fine Arts, but due to neglect and almost no aid from the Government, the Gallery has lost much of its old charm.

After independence too the number of galleries in entire Bengal was very limited. The first exhibition of the Society of Contemporary Artists with names like Ganesh Paine, Sunil Das and Bikash Bhattacharya also had to be held in a place called the Artistry Gallery. So sad was the situation of this gallery that it had to finally close down in 1960s. The society also had to hold shows in its small studio at Lenin Sarani, Calcutta.

But since the seventies, the number of Galleries increased in number. Birla Academy which was established much early came into prominence as came the Chemould gallery.

Today there are many galleries of prominence in Bengal. Some of these include

The Academy of Fine Arts

Abanindranath Gallery

Birla Academy of Art & Culture







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