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The Government College of Art & Craft in Kolkata is one of the oldest Art colleges in India. It was founded on August 16, 1854 at Garanhata, Chitpur, "with the purpose of establishing an institution for teaching the youth of all classes, industrial art based on scientific methods." as the School of Industrial Art. The institute was later renamed as the Government School of Art and in 1951 it became the Government College of Art & Craft.[1]

Government College of Art & Craft, Calcutta
Government College of Art & Craft Calcutta logo.svg
Established1854: School of Industrial Art
1864: Government School of Art
1951: Government College of Art & Craft
PrincipalChatrapati Dutta
Government College of Art & Craft, Calcutta, 28 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata 700016, West Bengal, India
AffiliationsUniversity of Calcutta
WebsiteGCAC website
Entrance of Government College of Art & Craft, Chowringhee Road, Kolkata



The school opened on August 16, 1854 at Garanhata as a private art school. The school was shifted to the building of Mutty Lall Seal in Colootola in November, 1854. In 1859, Garick joined as Head Teacher. In 1864, it was taken over by the government and on June 29, 1864 Henry Hover Locke joined as its principal. It was soon renamed as the Government School of Art. Locke made a comprehensive scheme of Curriculum of studies for the institution. The venue of the school was shifted to 166, Bowbazar Street in the 1880s. After the death of Locke on December 25, 1885 M. Schaumburg became the new principal. A new post of an Assistant Principal was created and on January 29, 1886 an Italian artist O. Ghilardi joined the post. In February, 1892 the institute was shifted to its present site adjacent to the Indian Museum. After the death of its principal, Jobbins Ernest Binfield Havel joined the school as its principal on July 6, 1896.[1]

Havell, Brown and AbanindranathEdit

Ernest Binfield Havel was the principal from 1896 to 1905. He attempted to reform teaching to emphasise Indian traditions, leading to the emergence of the style known as the Bengal school of art. Percy Brown was the next principal, who took over from the officiating Principal Abanindranath Tagore on January 12, 1909. He served as Principal up to 1927.[1] From August 15, 1905 to 1915, Abanindranath Tagore was the Vice-Principal of the college, and worked towards developing an Indian style of Art, which gave birth to the Bengal school of art,[2] an agenda that was to be pursued at the Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan.

Mukul Dey as principalEdit

On July 11, 1928 Mukul Chandra Dey became the principal. In October 1931, it started its quarterly magazine, Our Magazine, which published the reproductions of the works of its students and the faculty. Mukul Dey was Principal of the institute till 1943.[1]

Chintamoni Kar as principalEdit

For a long period in the 60s and 70s, the it was headed by Chintamoni Kar, who was appointed Principal on August 1, 1956.[1]


See also: Government College of Art & Craft alumni

Notable alumni of this institute include Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Sashi Kumar Hesh, Atul Bose, Debi Prasad Roychoudhuri, Gopal Ghosh, Mukul Dey, Chintamoni Kar, Mrinal Kanti Das, Satyen Ghoshal, Upendra Maharathi, Somnath Hore, Rajen Tarafdar, Jainul Abedin, Rananayan Dutta, Hemen Majumdar, Haren Das, Shanu Lahiri,[3] Ganesh Pyne, Ganesh Haloi, Sunil Das, Badhan Das, Samir Mondal,[4] Ashok Bhowmik, Jogen Chowdhury, Sudip Roy,[5] Pulak Biswas, Niranjan Pradhan, Ananta Mandal,[6] Paresh Maity, Akhil Chandra Das, Mrinal Kanti Ray, Suddhasattwa Basu, Sanatan Dinda, Sumantra Sengupta and Biman Bihari Das.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bagal, Jogesh Chandra (1966). History of the Govt. College of Art and Craft in the Centenary: Government College of Art & Craft, Calcutta, Calcutta: Government College of Art & Craft, pp. 1–58
  2. ^ Govt. College of Art and Craft.
  3. ^ "Shanu Lahiri dead". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Calcutta, India. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Painting memories". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. 5 February 2005. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Capturing different moods through art". The New Indian Express. 6 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Multifarious impressions of Ananta Mandal". The Times of India. 10 December 2013.
  7. ^ "India Mart bio". India Mart. 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

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