Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

Aesthetic Modernism in the Post-Colony: The Making of a National College of Art in Pakistan (1950–1960s)

Volume 27.3   2008

OMAR TARAR, NADEEM

 

With the formation of Pakistan as a modern Islamic republic in 1947, the institutions of art and design education were transformed under the sway of modernization theories of development. A conceptual and physical infrastructure was put in place to modify existing institutions and to create new ones for encouraging modern art and artists in the country. The 1950s saw major developments taking place in the former Mayo School of Art which was upgraded to the National College of Arts to train designers, artists and architects to meet the requirements of a new nation. The distinction between arts and crafts formed the discourse through which the changes in art education were articulated. The process of change unleashed in art education is emblematic of the changes taking place in the other sectors of economy and culture. The Bauhaus influence which formed the initial impulse to bring artists and craftsmen in the service of national industry gave way to the competing fine art movements in painting resulting in abandoning the synthesis of arts and crafts envisaged in the earlier approaches to art education.