Safiuddin Ahmed’s birth anniv today

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Jun 23,2019


Safiuddin Ahmed

Today is the 97th birth anniversary of late eminent artist Safiuddin Ahmed.

Different organisations including the faculty of fine arts of Dhaka University, Gallery Chitrak and others will pay tribute to the artist placing floral wreaths at his grave on Dhaka University Central Mosque premises in the morning.

Safiuddin Ahmed earned the adoring title of Shilpaguru for his lifelong passion and contributions towards the country’s fine arts scene.

He helped to set up the first art institute in the then East Pakistan and was one of the founders of Dhaka Art College (now Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University). From 1948 to 1979, he served as the head of the department of printmaking at the institution.

As an artist and teacher, Safiuddin Ahmed’s contribution in promoting and popularising printmaking was enormous and second to none. He inspired and led many artists to take up printmaking as their area of specialisation.

Safiuddin was a painter too, having produced a number of spectacular oil paintings such as Sunlit Hut, Dumka-1, Dumka-2 and Dumka Shal Forest. His subjects were the common, toiling masses – men and women – while landscape was also his favourite point of focus.

A graduate of Calcutta Government School of Art, Safiuddin has a long list of outstanding achievements including the President’s Gold Medal (1945) by Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta. He got the first prize in black-and-white category in the International Contemporary Art Exhibition, New Delhi (1946); first prize in black-and-white category (etching and drawing) in Inter-Asian Art Exhibition in New Delhi (1947) and the Patna Maharaja’s Gold Medal (1947).

He was a recipient of Ekushey Padak and Independence Award. The artist passed away on May 20, 2012.

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