Benode Behari Mukherjee - Biography*
1904 Born in Behala, near Calcutta (now Kolkata)
1917 Enrols as a student at the school in Santiniketan
1919 Joins as one of the first students at Kala Bhavan as soon as it opens this year
1920 Paints his first mural on his hostel room walls
1921 He continues to make murals on the hostel walls with his contemporaries
1923 Assists Nandalal Bose in the making of his murals in the old library building
1924 Paints murals in 16 niches of the Santhoshalaya building, depicting Santhal life
1925 Joins Santiniketan as a teacher after completing his studies. Goes on to being in charge of the library and museum at Kala Bhavan
1929 Becomes a full-fledged teacher at Kala Bhavan
1934 Exhibits his works in the Kala Bhavan group show at the Congress House, Madras, October 26-31.
1936 Visits Japan, and exhibits at Horeganji temple, Tsukiji, Tokyo, organised by Nippon Cultural Federation, Nippon Bunka Renmeii, April 26-28.
1937 Assists Nandalal Bose in Haripura Congress pavilion
1938 Exhibits at group show of Kala Bhavan, organized by the Santiniketan Ashramik Sangha.
1944 Marries Leela Mansukhani
Exhibits with Ramkinkar at the YMCA, New Delhi, October 18-21.
1946 Exhibits his landscapes and flower studies in Calcutta, organised by Ashramik Sangha,March.
Begins work on the Hindi Bhavan mural
1947 Completes Hindi Bhavan mural
Visits Najibabad in summer
Visits Bombay, meets artists Ara, Hebbar and Bendre of The Progressive Artists’ Group.
1948 Visits Ahemdabad, Baroda and Jaipur
Exhibits at the Savoy Hotel in Mussourie, June 22-25.
Leaves Santiniketan for Nepal to join as curator at the Nepal Government Museum in Kathmandu, October.
1949 Riten Mazumdar, K.V.Varma and Leela Mukherjee visit him in Kathmandu
Daughter, Mrinalini was born
1950 Paints murals at Banasthali in Rajasthan
Leaves Nepal before the revolt in Nepal for Patna
Exhibits works produced in Nepal in Patna, along with works by Leela Mukherjee and Riten Mazhumdar, at the
Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Bhavan. The exhibition travels to Saniniketan and Calcutta. In Santiniketan the works of
Ramkinkar made in Nepal during a visit is also exhibited alongside his.
1951 Travels to Saniniketan en route to Banaras and Banasthali, exploring the possibility of setting up an art and craft centre in one of the two places.Settles in Mussoorie, in October
1952 Establishes Art and Craft Centre in Mussoorie
1953 Possibly visited Ahmedabad
Exhibits his works at Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay, organised by Bombay branch of Saniniketan Asramik Sangha, December 14-20. Catalogue essay by Stella Kramrisch
1954 Invites to reorganise the Patna Art School, and moves to Patna in the summer.
1955 Meets S. Mujtaba Ali in Patna
1957 Moves to Dehradun and then Banasthali
1958 Returns to Santiniketan to teach art history at Kala Bhavan
1959 First retrospective exhibition at the Indian Museum, Calcutta, organised by the Saniniktean Ashramik Sangha and the Academy of Fine Arts, February 10-18.
1960 Exhibits his works at Kala Bhavan, organised by the Visva-Bharti Chhatra Sammilani, August 29-September 4.
1965 Monograph of his works by Prithwish Neogy published by Lalit Kala Akademi.
1967 Assumes position of Principal of Kala Bhavan
1968 Appointed Professor
1969 Holds his second retrospective in Delhi
1970 Retires from Kala Bhavan and is made Professor Emeritus at Visva-Bharati and elected Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi
1971 Sathyajit Ray makes the film Inner Eye on Benode Behari Mukherjee
1972 Completes the tile mural
1976 Moves to Delhi
1977 Conferred the Deshikottama (D.Litt) by Visva-Bharati
1979 Exhibition of works at Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta
Post-blindness works shown at Art Heritage, Delhi
His book Chitrakar is published
1980 Chitrakar receives the Bharatiya Bhasaha Parishad award.
Benode Behari Mukherjee dies in Delhi after suffering a fall.
Memorial Exhibition held at Nandan, Kala Bhavan, December 2-7.
1981 Posthumously receives the Rabindra Puraskar award for Chitrakar
2006 - 2007
Benode Behari Mukherjee’s Centenary Retrospective is held at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in New Delhi, curated by Gulammohammed Sheikh and R. Siva Kumar
*The biography is an extract from the Time-Line published in “Benodebehari Mukherjee – A Centenary Retrospective Exhibition”, published by NGMA AND Vadehra Art Gallery, 2007