Ramsons Kala Pratishtana turns 25
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Ramsons Kala Pratishtana turns 25

February 24, 2020

Museum for Mysore-style Painting opens tomorrow

In 1966, D. Ram Singh (DRS) began manufacturing handicrafts in a small scale unit — Brilliant Industries. In 1970, he opened a handicrafts retail outlet in front of Mysuru Zoo, thus was born                                     ‘Handicrafts Sales Emporium’.

The year 1995 marked the silver jubilee of Handicrafts Sales Emporium. On the suggestion of his cousin M.B. Singh, DRS instituted an Art Foundation, Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP) which is a Registered Trust working towards research, training, development and conservation of art and craft forms. It has grown over the years and is well known for its various activities in the field of traditional paintings, dolls, board games, et al. It has also instituted awards like ‘Shilpashree’ and ‘Ramsons Kala Pratishtana Award.’

D. Ram Singh (late)

RKP also organises the popular annual Dasara doll exhibition ‘Bombe Mane’ and bi-annual exhibition ‘Kreedaa Kaushalya’. This year, Ramsons Kala Pratishtana is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Forefathers of D. Ram Singh came to Mysuru as migrants from the dune lands of Rajasthan and now, several generations later, this family has not only served the royalty, but has also worked tirelessly to preserve the heritage of this beautiful royal city.

“Our emotions with the city and every aspect of its culture are intertwined with our very being here. The arts and culture, the legacy and heritage are part of our existence since many generations now,” says R.G. Singh, Secretary of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana. Working with him, in equal passion is historian and art curator H.S. Dharmendra who has even brought out a book on Mysore-style paintings.

Paravasudeva with Sridevi and Bhudevi. Artist: Durgada Krishnappa.

Their tryst with Mysore-style paintings started with a simple curiosity that opened the doors to the most magnificent world of this art form.

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On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Pratishtana, vowing to celebrate the ‘Mysuru Samskriti’, Ramsons Kala Pratishtana is opening “Ramsingh’s Museum of Mysuru Paintings” which will have a permanent display of about 250 timeless and unique Mysore-style paintings.

Eminent artist of Karnataka Dr. B.K.S. Varma will inaugurate the Museum at 5.30 pm at Ramsons, in front of Mysuru Zoo. Architect Kuldip Singh from New Delhi, who recently bequeathed his extensive collection of Thanjavur and Mysore paintings numbering over 400, to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya of Mumbai, will be the guest of honour. Sri Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Sri Suttur Mutt will inaugurate the Silver Jubilee celebration.

Manmatha on Pancha Naari Turaga. Artist: K.S. Shreehari. 1995.

Priceless Pieces of Art

The paintings at the Museum will be exhibited in ‘Parlour Style’. The display includes artworks by 18 contemporary artists from Mysuru and Bengaluru and the history of some of these art pieces date back to almost two centuries.

The Mysore-style of painting owes much of its popularity to the erstwhile family of the Wadiyars who encouraged artists to create paintings in this form. Apart from them, a huge number of merchants, courtiers, and eminent citizens of the city have also patronised this art form which led to a lot of Mysuru families, Rama Mandiras and homes of connoisseurs to turn repositories of Mysore paintings. This has helped the Pratishtana to not only collect unique paintings but also obtain information about the artists who created them.

The Pratishtana has been engaging with the masters of this art, sometimes commissioning works, in order to ensure that this art form is not lost to the future generations.

Arjuna and Draupadi beholding the Navagunjara form of Sri Krishna. Artist: R. Ravish. 2020.

“The Museum will help art students and research scholars with a visual source to aid their study. It will also help in the process of preservation and conservation of these paintings by way of setting up a Unit within the premises. We are researching on the artists who created these artworks, and we hope that the Museum will help provide the much needed information on these artists,” said R.G. Singh.

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The Museum will also be conducting workshops, projects, collaborations and camps with the hope to create new imagery and innovations within the traditional set-up while working with contemporary artists.

[For details contact : 98801-11625]

Devi Saraswati. Artist: B.P. Ramakrishna. 1997.

Mysore Paintings

Mysore style of painting is unique to the old Mysuru Kingdom; it probably originated in the 18th century, as a successor to the Vijayanagara style, and was patronised by the erstwhile rulers of the Wadiyar dynasty. As the signature style of the Court, it received wide patronage by royalty, nobility and the common man. Acclaimed as prized family heirlooms, these works of art adorned Palaces, mansions and Rama Mandira where they are venerated till date. The reigns of Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (r 1799-1868)  and Chamaraja Wadiyar (1868-1894) is considered as the ‘golden era’ of this school of art.


Date    :           Feb. 25, Tuesday

Time    :           5.30 pm

Venue :           Ramsons, in front of Mysuru Zoo


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