Home Art History Remembering Prof BN Goswamy: Art historian, teacher, friend and visionary | Chandigarh News

Remembering Prof BN Goswamy: Art historian, teacher, friend and visionary | Chandigarh News

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It was always with a warm hug Professor BN Goswamy A smile reaches his eyes and greets you. In a soft tone, he pointed out his concerns regarding Chandigarh. These include knowing how to build but not maintaining and maintaining it, the need to add to the collections of government museums, and the need to bring creative ideas to a wider audience. He always said that the main purpose of art is to nurture the soul and not just look at it as an investment. “Sadly, the study of art in schools is tokenistic, teachers are not trained to teach students how to see art, and there are few books on art for children. To build, we must foster curiosity, expand their minds, and impart something of value,” Professor Goswamy emphasized in an interview.

Professor Goswamy was the heart and soul of Chandigarh’s artistic milieu with his lectures and illustrated presentations on various aspects and nuances of art. He encouraged young writers, poets and artists by attending exhibitions, seminars and book launches, sharing his wealth of knowledge, experience and worldview with a wider audience. Every interaction ends with him reciting the poems of the greats, connecting the dots in his own unique style and approach. An icon for all art historians and scholars, Professor Goswami strode like a colossus in the field of art history, giving it new meaning and direction.” Vice Chancellor, Punjab University (PU), Chandigarh Professor Renu Vig said. “As founding chair of PU’s Faculty of Fine Arts and professor emeritus of art history, he will continue to inspire generations of art historians,” she added. “His vision was the one behind the establishment of the Punjab University Art Museum and its collection of priceless artworks. His death marks the end of an era. He was one of the leading figures of PU. He will always be remembered for his contributions both during his time in service and after his retirement,” she added.

Diwan Mana, president of the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, who has collaborated with Professor Goswami for over three decades, describes the world-renowned historian as a huge figure in the art world, not just in India but globally. “He taught people how to decipher art through various lectures and presentations and brought us closer to Indian art, its beauty, richness, values, style and vocabulary,” said Mana, a noted visual artist. says. Professor Goswamy was the epitome of knowledge, intelligence, grace and elegance and his passing is an immense loss as he was the soul of the city.

Mana recalls Professor Goswami as a captivating orator who used poetry to connect with people and inspired many to visit museums and galleries that exhibited miniatures and Indian art. “His death is a deep personal loss for me. He was a mentor in so many ways and I feel alone now. Even though I had the choice to live anywhere, this has always been my home. He chose to live in Chandigarh because he felt like a thinker and an avid practitioner of the art and held his teachings in high esteem. He played a pivotal role in the formation of the museum and was instrumental in establishing the remarkable art collection of the PU Museum, which at one time boasted the second largest collection of contemporary art in India.”

Deepika Gandhi, an architect and former director of the Chandigarh Museum of Architecture, considers Professor Goswami an inspiration not only professionally but also on a personal level. “He was a man who lived life on his own terms and prioritized his passion for the arts above any lucrative opportunity. He was a tireless champion of Chandigarh’s heritage and culture and a passionate advocate of keeping the spirit of the city alive. I consider myself lucky to have known him and cherish his support and encouragement,” Gandhi said.

Celebration benefits

Curator and author Ratika Gupta fondly recalls her recent encounter with Professor Goswamy at the launch of his latest book ‘Indian Cats: Stories, Paintings, Poems and Proverbs’ in Chandigarh. “He captivated us for over an hour, sharing anecdotes about cats from different cultures and weaving in literary, poetic and artistic references. His first encounter with BNG was in 2001. I interviewed him at his home for an illustrated manuscript project, and the memory remains vivid: he was explaining the artist’s perception of time in 18th century Kangra paintings. He compared time to a deerskin and explained how artists and poets could roll it up and wear it over their shoulders. I was fascinated. In the most poetic terms. In other words, BNG has elucidated the Indian concept of cyclical time, where past, present and future coexist continuously.”

Professor Gupta acknowledged Professor Goswami’s significant contributions to the field of art history, particularly his groundbreaking methodologies, including elucidating the genealogy of Pahari painter Nainsk and his close ties with his patron Raja Balwant Singh. “BNG, working as a detective, discovered Nainsuk’s name and a picture he had drawn in a panda notebook that was attached to Balwant Singh’s body during his cremation,” she recalls.

The focus on individual artists, their originality, particular styles, and the importance of documentation changed the way art history was approached. BNG insisted on seeing with the eye – of course, he said, it was possible with practice, but with the mind, as a sahridaya, one could “taste” the rasa of fine paintings and sketches, paying close attention to detail. I insisted on seeing the rasika feeling joyful. image. A month ago, BNG was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony of an exhibition at Kasauli Art Center (1976-1991), founded by late artist Vivan Sundaram, at PU’s Art Museum. he added. BNG served as a catalyst. BNG had a far-reaching vision that encompassed both the well-being of artists and the idea of ​​art as an essential educational tool, and from 1976 he funded and promoted the Kasauri Art Center until 1984. We supported. In return, each artist donated a work, which is now part of the permanent collection of the Punjab University Art Museum.

Author and journalist Rupinder Singh reflects on Professor Goswamy’s legacy and recalls a painful memory of Christmas Eve 2012. Gursharan Kaur visited the India International Center in Delhi to launch ‘Sikh Heritage: Ethos and Legacy’. Shin recalls. “When I moved to introduce her to the guest of honour, she said, “I know Brijinder Ji.” In fact, BN Her Professor Goswami was a member of her husband, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He was my best friend and her classmate.”

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Mr. Singh further highlights Professor Goswamy’s worldwide recognition among artists and aestheticians. He gave prestigious guest lectures at various universities and museums around the world and was a regular speaker at the Jaipur Literature Festival. “On October 25, during the launch of his latest book, The Indian Cat, he spoke eloquently about cats, even though he claimed not to be a cat lover. With a wit that made him feel less helpless, he spoke eloquently about cats. The one-on-one interactions were fun and fulfilling,” Singh recalls. The large number of people from different backgrounds who attended his cremation today was a testament to his influence on the Chandigarh community.

Goswami remained active in public life and served on important academic and administrative advisory committees.

Mr. Singh thanked Professor Goswamy and his late wife, Karuna Goswamy, for their modest philanthropy, benefitting people in need, including the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), where he spent his final moments. is bringing. Mr. Singh echoes the sentiments of many when he says: We will all remember his presence, his wisdom, and his ability to captivate any conversation effortlessly. When he spoke, we listened and learned. Now, we must learn from his written words and the memory of his speeches. It’s not the same. There will be nothing. ”

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