Perhaps for the first time, Bihar’s 42 women artists were gathered under one platform and showcased their rare art works on the occasion of the International Women’s Day here at the Exhibition Hall of the iconic Bihar Museum. Their exhibition will continue till April 10.
For the first time, one can witness the priceless collection of all the seven women Padma Shri award winners in Madhubani paintings under one roof. The best collections of these celebrated artists from Mithila are Late Jagdamba Devi (1975), Sita Devi ( 1981). Ganga Devi ( 1984), Mahasundari Devi (2010), Bauwa Devi (2017) , Godavari Dutt (2019) and Dulari Devi (2021) on display.
Director General of Bihar Museum Anjani K Singh said: “We have created a sort of record by assembling all these artists and their collections under one roof.” Besides these celebrated painters, we have displayed equally talented women artists’ works in Tikuli art sikki, sujni, paper machie, Manjusha and appliqué, Singh who is also an advisor to the CM told The Statesman.
The Department of Art, Culture and Youth Affairs, Bihar government has also honoured these women artists at a function held here on Saturday. The state’s Culture Minister Jitendra Kumar Rai honoured them.
The Secretary of the department Bandana Preyashi said that the department is committed to promoting Mithila and folk art paintings and their artists at international level. Two diploma courses on Madhubani paintings are running at the “Mithila Chitrakala Sansthan” at Madhubani in which young artists are imparting training from these celebrated artist’s.
Talking to The Statesman, Padma Shri award winner Madhubani painter Dulari Devi said that for earning her livelihood, she used to do fishing with her father and siblings and sometimes helped her mother in cleaning jobs at neighbourhood houses.
Later she joined as a domestic help at the house of Padma Shri awardee Mahasundari Devi and Karpoori Devi. She learned the fineness of Madhubani paintings under the supervision of both legends of Madhubani art.
Within two three years Dulari Devi conceived perfection in this art. Her biography has been published in French and other foreign languages. In 2021, she achieved the prestigious Padma Shri award.
Similarly Padmashri Baua Devi left her study after the 5th standard and then got assimilated in Madhubani art. She has visited Japan eleven times as well as visited Germany, London and Mauritius. She has also participated in exhibitions in Paris, Barcelona and Spain. She received the national award in 1986 and Padma Shri in 2017.
The Bihar Museum has released a directory of all such artists on this occasion.