Top 10 Fine Arts Colleges of India. Did Your College Make The List?
India Today has been doing an annual story for last 17 years on the top colleges in various disciplines in India. For 2014, India Today partnered with The Nielsen Company and conducted the survey to determine the best undergraduate colleges in India in eleven disciplines namely Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Medical, Law, BBA, BCA, Mass Communication & Journalism, Fashion, Fine Arts.
I checked out some of the top Fine Arts colleges in India, and came away wishing that every painting I make didn’t look like I’d been holding the brush between my toes (yes, yes, I know, some people are excellent at that too). Here’s everything you should know about the top 10 Fine Arts colleges in India.
The Faculty of Fine Arts in the Maharaja Sayaji University of Baroda was founded in June 1950. A few glimpses of their beautiful green campus are enough to convince anybody that, if there is an environment that could provide consistent inspiration to an artist, this would probably be it. Between the stone walls, undergraduate and postgraduate students absorb the theories of Art History and Museology; they create beautiful shapes in the Print Making and Graphic Arts classes; they show their art to the world through the Applied Arts courses.
Twice a year, the MS University of Baroda organises a Fine Arts Fair, producing toys, utilitarian objects, illustrated books, masks and puppet shows to raise funds for students welfare. The fair brings together the city public and the faculty through creative diversity.
The Faculty of Visual Arts in Banaras Hindu University is ranked second in India for Fine Arts. It offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts Courses and research programmes in different specialized areas, such as Painting, Applied Arts, Pottery and Ceramics, Plastic Arts, and Textile Design. For undergraduate students who can’t get their fill in their four year BFA course, there’s also a two-year-long Master of Fine Art (MFA) programme.
Sigh. The thought of creating timeless art on the banks of the Ganges while sipping on hot chai is enough to make me want to pack my bags and get on the next flight to Varanasi!
Founded in 1942, the College of Art in the University of Delhi is ranked third according to India Today’s ranking. All students in the Bachelor’s programme begin their undergraduate experience with a rigorous one-year-long Foundation Course which is common to the specializations of Painting, Sculpture, Applied Art, Printmaking and Visual Communication. The College of Art has studios, laboratories and recreational areas, and a huge library that houses over 17,500 books in over four languages.
Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art started operations in the premises of Sir J. J. School of Art in 1935 and was awarded independent institute status in 1961. (Wow, all of these colleges are REALLY old.) A landmark for anyone who’s travelling in South Mumbai, Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art places a strong emphasis on the idea of “learning by doing”. It organises annual study excursions for its students and has a Quality Improvement Programme (QIP) Cell, which develops and improvises the teaching methodology for Art Education.
The Faculty of Fine Arts in Jamia Millia Islamia was founded in 1951 as an Art Institute by Abul Kalam. According to their website, after Independence, art was envisaged as an integral part of the life for the Indian citizen, thus their objective was to impart training of art and craft through modern concepts and methods of Art Education.
Within the Faculty of Fine Arts, there are the departments of Applied Art, Painting, Sculpture, Art Education, Art History and Art Appreciation, Graphic Art.
The first college under the University of Pune to offer a degree in Fine Art, the Bharati Kala Mahavidyala. Despite being a relatively new college, students here get great placements in well known Advertising Agencies, Design Houses, and IT companies, among others. The college also organises an Annual Art Exhibition on a large scale. Approximately 15,000-20,000 viewers, including students from various Fine Art Colleges, their parents, staff, and eminent art personalities come to visit. As of now, Bharati Kala Mahavidyala only offers undergraduate courses, but I’m hoping to see this change soon!
The word ‘Kurukshetra’ brings to mind vivid images of clashing armies, politics, and the Mahabharata. It comes as no surprise then, amidst these strong visuals, that Kurukshetra University has one of the best Fine Arts courses in the country. Offering BFA, MFA, and MA degrees, with courses as cool as ‘The History of Medieval Western Art’ and ‘Philosophy of Art’, this is one warzone I definitely wouldn’t mind being a part of.
Gandhiji preached non-violence, and what better way to express resistance creatively than through art? Another college located in the picturesque Varanasi, MGKVP’s Fine Arts faculty offers unusual courses like Tribal and Folk Arts and Indian Sculpture, in degrees ranging from BFA to MFA to PhDs. Now, if only I could go around telling people I have a PhD in Khajuraho.
Formerly known as the Bandra School of Art, the L S Raheja School of Art is armed with AV facilitated classrooms, a well-stocked library, and a drawing studio. Offering year-long diploma courses in Foundation, as well as four-year-long diploma courses in Drawing and Painting or Applied Art, L S Raheja also organises an annual exhibition called Kalayatri, where students present their work, and are also hired for jobs and internships. Now who’d rather eat bhutta on Carter Road than go to this college?
First offering Bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts from 1956 for women, the Aligarh Muslim University has also offered the MFA degree to its students since 1984. Now, students can also take short diploma courses, or get the much-desired ‘Dr’ prefix to their names by doing a PhD here. The thrust of the courses here is on Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Post Modern studies and practices in Art. The studio training comprises conventional art techniques such as wash, graphics, traditional crafts as well as modern emerging medium like digital art, video art, installations etc.