Published:  12:00 AM, 15 June 2019

Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala in Mymensingh

Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala in Mymensingh

Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala is an art museum located in Mymensingh District. It was built in the memory of great Teacher of Arts" Zainul Abedin ". This Art gallery was established in 1975 and it contains various collections of the artist Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin (1914-1976).

The art gallery was established in Mymensingh, where the artist spent his early days. Abedin, a pioneer of the country's modern art movement, created works of art on subject matters such as the Bengal famine of 1943 and the peoples' independence. The museum is located in the area of Shaheeb Quarter Park on the bank of the old Bramaputra River.

Each year in December, the gallery authority organizes an anniversary program that includes a discussion on the life and work of Zainul, as well as a painting competition. While the art gallery does not issue publications, Bangladesh National Museum, which has a collection of 800 paintings by Abedin, issues poster and card on behalf of the artist. Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala is a branch of the national museum.

Born in Mymensingh, Abedin drew pictures sitting on the bank of Brahmaputra River. While studying at local Mrityunjay School, he won the first prize in a Bombay Chronicle art competition.

Subsequently, the school's headmaster sent more of Abedin's paintings to India. Devoted to his art, the school teachers encouraged him to go to Kolkata and, in 1933, Abedin was admitted to Calcutta Government Art School. In the 1950s, Abedin began a movement of collecting neglected pieces of Bangladeshi arts works that were scattered all over rural areas of the country.

The artist remained attached to his hometown, prompting the establishment of a museum in Mymensingh on 15 April 1975 in a building owned by Mr. Barden who later sold it to a member of the Viceroy's Executive Council. The gallery opened with approximately 70 pieces of art that included oil paintings and drawings by Abedin during his tours abroad. The gallery was initially run by a committee that was assisted by a local administration.

In its early years, it had 77 of Abedin's paintings but in 1982, seventeen pieces of art were stolen from the museum. Only ten of which were retrieved in 1994. Renovations began in 1997. Two year later, the National Museum took charge of the gallery and completed renovations in 2004 on the 3.2-acre facility. This included construction of a main gate, ticket counters, and walls. A projector, sound system and de-humidifier were installed. An artists' cottage and an open-air stage were added. There are currently 53 oil paintings in the archive.

The collection includes various themes and subjects, though most depict scenes of rural Bengal. Besides the original paintings there are 16 replicas and 75 photographs on Zainul's life and works. There are also 69 mementos on display such as brushes, brush holder, bottles of turpentine and linseed oil, carbon box, charcoal, wax, color palette, color tube, easel, ink pot, leather portrait holder, metal clip, reed pen, scraper, spatula and his spectacles. The mementos are situated in glass boxes in the midst of the gallery.

How to go: A traveler can reach at Town Hall anywhere from Mymensingh city riding on rickshaws or shared auto-rickshaws which may cost around 10 taka. From the town hall area there are so many shared auto-rickshaws available heading toward Kachijhuli. You may ride one of those which may cost 5-10 taka.

How to reach: Mymensingh district: Mymensingh city is located about 120 km (75 mi) north of Dhaka which is the capital of the country. There is no airport in Mymensingh. Dhaka airport is approximately 110 km (4.00 hours drive) from Mymensingh by bus. There are several bus services from Dhaka to Mymensingh. Buses leave from the Mohakhali bus stand (10 km south of Dhaka Airport) in Dhaka to the Mashkanda bus stand in Mymensingh.

Things to do: It's not a very large Art Gallery. So if a traveler could spend around one hour for visiting this art gallery then he/she might enjoy the whole view of every single gallery and exhibition.

Eating facilities: The nearby restaurants are Circuit House food court and Sharinda. Besides, there are so many hotels and restaurants available in Mymensingh town. You may choose one of those.

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