A commemorative postage stamp on the Centenary of the Bombay Art Society (BAS) :
Issued on Dec 15, 1989
Description of Designs : The design of the stamp depicts a painting by one of the artists of the society. The First day cover depicts the society’s emblem which decorates the obverse of the Gold Medal that was designed by Rao Bahadur Ganpatrao Mhatre. The cancellation design is by Alka Sharma.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 100 Paise
- In December 1888, the Bombay Art Society was founded for the purpose of encouraging artists, especially amateurs and of educating the public in the appreciation of art. The formation of the Society was the result of a joint endeavour of a few Indians and Britishers, who used to practise drawing and painting as a hobby.
- The Sir J. J. School of Art had been established in Bombay about 45 years earlier. Those who had taken training in the institution gradually grew into a sizeable group of professional artists. They were happy to find in the Bombay Art Society, an organisation which was equipped to present their work to the public.
- Since the inception of the society, the Governors of the state, then known as the Bombay Province, have been its patrons. The tradition continues today. The erstwhile princes also extended liberal patronage to the society.
- Till 1935, high government officers have worked as Presidents of the Society. Prominent among them have been Sir Basil Scott, Sir Moris Hayward, Sir Gilbert Wiles and the Bishop of Bombay, Rt. Rev. R. D. Ancland. From 1936, Sir Cowasji Jehangir, well known for his deep knowledge and liberal patronage of the arts, was elected the first Indian President of the Society and held this portfolio upto 1962, showering liberal patronage throughout. The Jehangir Art Gallery in Bombay, built in 1951, through a massive donation of Rs. 7 lakhs by him, stands out as a landmark for providing facilities for art exhibitions. The Gallery also provides permanent premises to the Bombay Art Society to run its office.
- The Society’s Annual Exhibitions have occupied positions of prestige right from the start, when it organised its first show only a few months after its establishment. Its Gold Medal acquired the status of a coveted award for artists in India, for recognition of merit in visual artists. The winners of the award represented the country’s creativity art at its best.
- There were a few gaps in the continuity of the society’s Annual shows due to the two Great Wars during the century. Over the years the number of art organisations in India multiplied holding hundreds of shows each year. The Bombay Art Society’s Annual Exhibitions, however, still occupy a prominent position among the shows of national importance in the country.
- The Society’s completes a hundred years of its glorious work in the field of art in December, 1989, providing inspiration to the young amateur artists to greater heights of achievement.
- Text : Courtesy, Secretary, Bombay Art Society.