Professional Education in art was started in India on the lines suggested by the architects of education in the British rule, as early as the middle of the last century. More than a hundred years have elapsed since but the system of Art Education is being continued nearly in the same fashion even today.
The economic depression as a result of the two successive world wars has effected a peculiar change in the social and economical structures of this country with the result that works of art are no longer considered as valued treasures, indispensable for the decoration of homes and public buildings. The highly mechanised ways of living under the atomic age has resulted in the prevalence of abstract art in the West, and in the almost total extinction of private patronisation in India. An artist in India today has to face this problem as squarely as any other citizen who is engaged in vocations other than any technical ones. Guardians are therefore not inclined to send their wards to art institutions to learn art for art’s sake only. As a result there is at present a heavy rush in the applied or commercial art sections of the institutions which promise economic success to some extent.
Applied art is not entirely a different art by itself to be taught as a separate subject all through the course of study. It is only proper that a student should at the beginning, learn to draw, compose and paint well and then undergo a special training for a year or two to learn to apply his knowledge for commercial or industrial purposes. Under the existing system, applied or commercial art is taught for the duration of two or three years after a student has undergone a general course for two years in the Intermediate class, during which it is too much to expect a student to acquire a sufficiently sound knowledge in drawing, composition and painting.
In order to remove this difficulty, and to ensure an improved system of Art Education suitable for discovering and developing a student’s own particular talent, instead of qualifying him as a drawing teacher only, as the existing method does, the following syllabus is suggested:
Table Showing the Courses of Study in Three Stages
|“School of Painting”, Western Style. Diploma Course Duration 2 years.||“School of Painting”, Indian Style. Diploma Course Duration 2 years.||“School of Modelling and sculpturing”, (Western and Indian Styles). Diploma Course Duration 2 years.||“School of Engraving”, Diploma course. Duration 2 years.||“School of Artistic Craft”. Diploma Course. Duration 2 years.|
|Post Graduate Diploma course in Painting. Duration 2 years||“school of applied arts”. Post Graduate Diploma course in Applied Arts (Graphic Design). Duration 2 years||Post Graduate Diploma course in Sculpture. Duration 2 years||Post Graduate Diploma Course in Industrial Design. Duration 2 years.|
As shown in the table the Art Institution would offer courses of study in Painting—Western Style, Painting—Indian Style, Modelling and Sculpture, Applied Art (Graphic Design), Engraving, Artistic Crafts and Industrial Design. Alongwith the practical methods of teaching, theoretical lessons would be given in the form of lectures on history of painting, sculpture and architecture of the West and East and on principles of Applied Arts, Graphic Art, Crafts and Industrial Design. Lectures would also be delivered on Human Anatomy, Perspective, chemistry of Painters’ Materials, and Interior Decoration.
The courses of study would be divided into three stages, (a) an Intermediate Certificate course for two years’ duration in the general principles of drawing, painting and composition with some preliminary training in Modelling, Engraving and Crafts; (b) Diploma courses of two years’ duration in the schools of: (1) Painting—Western Style, (2) Painting—Indian Style, (3) Modelling and Sculpture, (4) Engraving and (5) Artistic Crafts; a thorough and systematic training would be given to specialise in the above courses. Besides these there would also be (c) Post-Graduate Diploma courses of two years’ duration in: (1) Painting, (2) Applied Arts (Graphic Design), (3) Sculpture, and (4) Industrial Design in which a specialised form of training would be imparted to bring out the individual talents of different students. The students, subject to selection by the Principal aided by the respective Heads of the Departments on the basis of special ability and availability of seats, would be permitted to specialise in the Diploma and Post-Graduate Diploma courses of the various schools as indicated above.
Minimum educational qualification for admission should be Matriculation or any equivalent examination, with “Art” as one of the additional subjects.
All candidates for admission would be interviewed by the Principal and sit for an admission test in drawing and general knowledge.
In exceptional cases a student showing a rare aptitude and ability in drawing at the Test would be permitted to be admitted in a higher class.
A candidate at the time of admission should not be below fifteen and above twenty years of age.
Brief Description of the Courses of Study and the Syallabus:
(1) Intermediate Classes—Certificate Course—duration two years.
As indicated above this course would comprise of necessary basic training which condition for further training in the Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma courses of the various schools as available.
First year course—Syllabus of study: Drawing from casts, life and nature; foliage and flower studies; simple landscapes in colour; lectures and drawings in perspective.
Second year course: Drawings from life and nature, paintings of objects, composition, drawing and lectures on perspective and human anatomy, modelling, and decorative design suitable for artistic crafts.
(2) School of Painting—Western Style—Diploma Course—duration two years.
The aim of the school would be to provide facilities for the student to practise all forms of painting, and to enable him to discover and develop his own particular talent. Apart from training in objective study stress should be laid on the importance of planning and constructing of pictures.
Syllabus of studies for the course: Syllabus of drawing and painting from life—draped and undraped, portrait, composition, study of objects, out-door study, lectures on human anatomy, history of painting and architecture of the West and the East, and Chemistry of painter’s materials.
(3) School of Painting—Indian Style—Diploma Course—duration two years.
Students of this school should be encouraged to study the various aspects and forms of traditional Indian painting and to assimilate the knowledge for evolving methods suitable for the Art of the present day. Training would also be given in studies from life and objects. and for planning and construction of picture depicting free development of the students’ creative abilities.
Syllabus of studies include: drawing and painting from life—draped and undraped, portrait, composition in traditional and contemporary Indian styles, studies from objects, lectures on human anatomy, history of painting and architecture of the East and the West, and chemistry of painter’s materials.
(4) School of Painting—Post Graduate Diploma Course—duration two years.
In the Post Graduate Course, apart from advanced training in objective studies special importance would be given in planning and construction of pictures in modern and abstract styles. Students would also be encouraged to follow the direction of their particular talents and the maximum time should be allowed for personal creative work.
There would be a mural painting section allotted specially for this course. Here the students should be encouraged to study practical problems in relation to particular painting sites. As far as possible work should be carried out on the walls of actual buildings.
Syllabus of studies: Study from life—draped and undraped, composition in modem and abstract styles, mural painting, demonstrations and lectures on mural painting, modern art and architecture.
(5) School of Modelling and Sculpture—(Western and Indian)—Diploma Course—duration two years.
In view of the fact that there is a lesser demand for sculpture, only a limited number of students should be allowed this course of study. The students would study in the manner of apprenticed pupils working with the teachers in the studies which would form a part of the school. Teaching would be designed to allow free development of the student’s creative abilities and to give him a solid technical foundation.
Syllabus of studies: Drawing from life, life modelling, terracotta, com position, animal study, plaster moulding, concrete casting, wood carving, lectures on human anatomy, history of sculpture and architecture of the West and the East.
(6) School of Sculpture—Post Graduate Diploma Course—duration two years.
In the post graduate course, apart from advanced training in the above subjects special importance should be given in planning and construction of com positions in modern and abstract sytles. Students would be encouraged to follow the direction of their particular talents and maximum time would be devoted for personal creative work. Facilities should also be afforded to students wishing to specialise particularly in any of the subjects taught.
The subjects taught should include granite carving, stone carving, bronze casting, compositions suitable for architecture and open air demonstrations and lectures on modern sculpture and architecture.
(7) School of Applied Art (Graphic Design)—Post Graduate Diploma Course—duration two years.
As mentioned before, this is a highly specialised course where knowledge of drawing, painting and composition is applied for commercial purposes, and as such only a limited number of students would be admitted, from those successfully qualifying in the Diploma courses in schools of Painting.
Although the main object of this course would be to give the students a general technical grounding from a professional point of view, it would be also time for finding out the capabilities and special aptitudes of such students.
Subjects taught. Commercial design, Typography, Lettering; Illustration andInterior decoration; demonstrations, lectures, etc. on each of the above subjects.
The subjects cover a wide field of activities in designing for advertising media, such as press advertisements—leaflets—book jackets—posters etc., methods of type, printing and reproductive processes; calligraphy, built-up lettering engraved and incised lettering and their application to book-production, advertising and building. The main method of work in interior decoration, would be on the lines of a design studio, giving students freedom to work on their own initiative upon a variety of design subjects. In addition to studio instruction and supervision, students should attend lectures and pay visits to buildings and work shops.
(8) School of Engraving—Diploma Course—duration two years.
The school would be equipped for thorough study and practice of all forms of engraving, etching, line engraving, drypoint, aquatint, wood engraving and lithography.
All students would be encouraged to experiment and evolve their own method of handling the various processes. and learn to become good craftsmen and expert printers, either of copper plates or, in the lithography section, of stones and zinc plates. Constantly changing exhibitions would be encouraged within the school to keep the students in touch with the past and present productions.
The general training to be provided for students would be on a broad basis and would be useful to them whether they practise eventually in the field of fine arts or in that of commercial design.
(9) School of Artistic Crafts—Diploma Course—duration two years.
The school would be equipped for study of batik printing and dyeing, leather craft, artistic book binding, artistic toy making and wood work, ceramics, and textile design, with provisions for demonstrations and lectures illustrating the above subjects.
Throughout the course design would be studied in relation to materials, tools, manufacturing processes and requirements in use. It would present a comprehensive pattern of study, in which the student first energises his mind by absorption from many and various sources and then progressively directs these energies and experiences towards the point of impact upon a chosen field of design. All the subjects should be integrated through the fundamental study of drawing, painting and design and the appreciation of historical style. Great emphasis would also be laid on the quality of draughtsmanship and colour, specially with regard to students of Textile Design. In order to give the most vigorous training in technical and practical sides of work frequent visit should be made throughout the course to industrial centres.
(10) School of Artistic Crafts—Post Graduate Diploma Course in Industrial Design—duration two years.
In this school would be taught the design of furniture and of all engineered products in which appearance is an important consideration. The aim of the school would be to train designers who would be capable of designing in close co operation with the technicians and executives upon whom modem factory production depends.
Workshop would be fully equipped with modern machines and hand tools suitable for the above work.
Syllabus of studies. Theory of colour and its application, the elementary principles of structure, the use of hand tools with particular reference to model making, making of metal furniture, wooden furniture and moulded plastics, lectures and demonstrations by production engineers and technical specialists, visits to factories in which teaching staff are actually engaged upon appropriate designing commissions.
Annual Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma Examinations
All examinations in the above mentioned courses of study would consist of the submission of a number of works done by the students in the respective schools, with some sketches and studies for compositions, designs, etc. There would also be submission of a thesis based on the course of study taken by the students, the subject of which must be proposed by him two months before the examination and approved by his professor. The thesis, which must be clearly written, should be of about 3,000 words; sketches, evidence of research, illustrations etc., should be included wherever necessary. This thesis would only be submitted by the students appearing at the Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma examinations.