Indian Academy of Fine Arts: Building

Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar has got a beautiful Building located at Madan Mohan Malviya Road, near Lawrence Road Chowk, opposite Ram Bagh Gardens., AMRITSAR. It has got six exhibition halls, a majestic 350 seated auditorium, art studio, a library, administrative block, guest rooms, lush green walls and artistically carved welcome gate. Its walls and verandas are decorated with paintings and sculptures.

S. G.Thakur Singh and S. Dharam Singh were good friends. It was during 1950 that both of them mooted the idea of having a building of Indian Academy of Fine Arts. The land was acquired from the Municipal Committee, Amritsar on lease at Madan Mohan Malviya Road, Amritsar.

It is worth mentioning that the land for the academy was acquired due to the efforts of S. Dharam Singh (who was unanimously elected as President of Municipal Committee, Amritsar in 1946), Sh. Durga Dass Bhatia, Seth Radha Krishan, Sh. G. R. Sethi and other friends who were elected members of the Municipal committee in various positions.

The foundation stone of the ART GALLERY of IAFA was laid by Sh. S.K. Chhibber IAS, Deputy Commissioner Amritsar on 21st March, 1956.

The foundation stone of the Main Building was laid by the President of India, Dr. Rajinder Parsad on 13th April, 1961.

The design of the main building of the academy was prepared by S. Dharam Singh who supervised it and gave the finishing touches in consultation with S. Thakur Singh. Because of his professional attachment with various industrialists, he could manage substantial amount of donations from his clients. S. Thakur Singh too spent good amount of money from his own sources. His mother (Smt. Partap Kaur) also contributed her personal ornaments for this very purpose. During the construction of the building, several masons, carpenters attached to S. Dharam Singh worked free on every Amavas on the express desire of him.

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Many Art lovers and philanthropists contributed funds for the construction of the building

In 1963 S. Mohinderjit Singh was requested by S.G. Thakur Singh to design the first floor for the building as till then only ground floor was built and there was no auditorium. S. Mohinderjit Singh gladly accepted his request and designed the first floor with a different type of roof to provide sufficient day light at the top floor. S.G. Thakur Singh made him a life member in 1964 in appreciation of his work.

Construction of Auditorium started during Middle Period but got completed in the Current period. The auditorium has been named after S. Dharam Singh Engineer to perpetuate his memory. Design of the auditorium was entrusted to S. Mohinderjit Singh in 1982. Foundation stone of the auditorium was laid on 14th November, 1984 by S. Ramesh Inder Singh IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar and Chairman IAFA.

Sh. J. S. Dhaka structural engineer consultant was associated for the structural design of the auditorium.

For eight years, nothing progressed and construction work remained stalled. In 1992, IAFA succeeded in getting a grant from Human Resources Department with the efforts of the then President S. Avtar Singh and Hon. G. Secretary S. Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina for the construction of the Auditorium.

Inauguration of the auditorium was done by S. Sukhbir Singh Badal (Union Minister of States, Industries, India) on 6th October, 1998.

It is worth mentioning over here that with the generous aid from S. Kartar Singh Duggal MP, the whole building was air conditioned; and with the aid from S. Amarinder Singh the then Chief Minister, Punjab, marble flooring of the academy was done which added charm to the galleries.

Building is being looked after efficiently by the building Secretary Engineer Pushpinder Singh Grover under the able guidance of Architect Mohinderjit Singh.

      

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