Haku Shah

Haku Shah

Born on 26 March, 1934 in a small village named Valod of Gujarat. He is a renowned figurative artist from Baroda School. The emotions of folk and tribal art of India are originated in his skills. An eminent artist, a cultural anthropologist, teacher, Gandhian, an author of international repute on folk and tribal art. Associated with the National Institute of Design right from its inception in the early 1960’s, he was invited by Dr. Stella Kramrisch in 1967 to curate the seminal exhibition, “Unknown India” which traveled to USA. He established a tribal museum at Gujarat Vidyapeeth in Ahmedabad, which was set up by Mahatma Gandhi. He has conducted various art and design workshops and lectured across the world. He also taught at School of Architecture, Ahmedabad for several years and was Regent Professor at the University California, Davis. He has exhibited his artworks in major cities of India and across the world. Haku Shah is Chairman and founder trustee of Bhooma, Lok Shilpa Sansthan. He was awarded `Kala-Gaurava’ by Gujarat Lalit Kala Akademi for his immense contribution to art. He has also been associated with the Museum of Mankind, London; the Tropical Museum, Amsterdam; and the Mingi International Museum of World Folk Art in San Diego, California.


1978            “Pithoro, the Tribal God”, for the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1970            “Scraps”, made with Yvonne Hannemann, Ahmedabad and USA

Creativity Workshops:

1985            “Hands”, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
1987            “Sun”, by Craft Council of India, Madras
1988            “River”, Environmental Society of Trichinapalli, Tamil Nadu
1989            “Hands”, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
1991            “Hands”, University of California, Davis

Awards and Honours:

1968             Rockefeller Fellow, U.S.A.
1971             Nehru Fellowship Award, New Delhi
1973             Civic Award, Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad
1989             Padma Shri Award for Art, President of India
1991             Regents’ Professor, University of California, U.S.A.
1997             Kala Ratna, All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, New Delhi
1998             Kala Shiromani, Lalit Kala Akademi, Ahmedabad
2006             Gagan Abani Puraskar, Shantiniketan
2011             Sanmaan, Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad

‘Haku Shah’s men and women emerge from the long enduring substratum of tribal – rural India, unaffected by fashionable obsolescence, yet compellingly contemporary in their tender gregariousness, in their moments of simple joys and wonder, sadness and hopes….Haku Shah’s  men and women occupy a pictorial space with the steadfast presence of an icon…‘ (Ref. Santo Dutta)

He passed away on 21st March 2019.

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