Upholder of glorious traditions of the past

Lalit Kala Akademi

The nation’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, established Lalit Kala Akademi with an aim to promote visual arts in the country.

 He wanted to establish it as an identity of cultural and national importance. It was on August 5, 1954, the institute was established and this month, the LKA completed its 60 years of existence. 

It was inaugurated by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then Minister for Education, who laid out the roadmap for the Akademi to follow saying “The Akademi must work to preserve the glorious traditions of the past and enrich them by the work of our modern artists. 

It must also seek to improve standards and refine public taste.”

In pursuance of that dream the institute has been in the forefront of promoting culture and cultural identity, encouraging and boosting study and research in the fields of creative arts such as painting, sculpture and graphics etc. Not just this, but the insitute has played an active role in  promoting research and study of folk, tribal and traditional arts and crafts techniques and in preserving traditional art forms. In this way, the Akademi encourages and promotes surviving indigenous craftsmen, painters and sculptors.

Recently, the Akademi announced to accommodate marginalised rural artisans and those from disadvantaged communities at Garhi. For this the unsavoury task of removing the group of urban artists, who had been staying here for long and were unwilling to vacate the premises, was undertaken successfully. Now, the Akademi has decided to fix the term of stay of new artists who are ready to take up residence at Garhi. The artists living earlier used to pay Rs 150 for accommodation.

The Akademi would continue to provide subsidy and have affordable rates to the new artists. 

More so, LKA encourages exchange of ideas between various schools of art by organising conferences, seminars, exhibitions on an all India basis. It involves scholars and educationists and state academies, zonal cultural centres and art oganisations like faculties of art in universities, art colleges and schools, art museums, art galleries and art associations.

The Akademi also gives recognition to art associations and other art organisations for assisting artists through them. This is done in consultation with state Akademis and Government in order to promote the proper growth and functioning of art associations and organisations. 

A non-profit, autonomous body, funded by the Ministry of Culture, the Akademi holds exhibitions, institutes scholarships, sponsorships, fellowships, assistance schemes, Lifetime Achievement Awards, and publishes documentary material. It also conducts Triennale India, and the National Exhibition of Photography and Art.

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