Guwahati: A museum showcasing the modern art of Padmashree Neelpawan Baruah, considered one of the most remarkable modernist artists of our times was launched at Tezpur University on Saturday.
Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua inaugurated the museum which has been housed in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building of the University.
With the collection of Baruah’s 56 artworks in different artistic media from oil paintings on canvas to sketches in ink and acrylic, the museum is set up under the aegis of the Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area (CPEPA), a special scheme awarded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to Tezpur University in 2016 with the Department of Cultural Studies as the lead department and department of English and the Centre for Assamese Studies, now Dept. of Assamese as a collaborative department.
The museum is visualized as a permanent display of his most significant artworks.
Speaking at the inaugural function, chief secretary Barua emphasized the rich history of Tezpur town and the cultural relevance it holds.
“Tezpur is a culturally and historically rich town in Assam. The history of Tezpur and Sonitpur is worth telling everyone. A modern museum on Neelpawan Baruah is a welcome step by the university,” said Barua.
Barua also dwelt on the role of a university in enriching the social and cultural fabrics and lauded the initiative taken by Tezpur University in preserving the artworks of Neelpawan Baruah in a befitting manner for its preservation and accessibility to all.
Speaking on the occasion, Neelpawan Baruah’s brother, Dr Sunil Pawan Baruah, a noted columnist and retired Principal, B. Barooah College, Guwahati said that Neelpawan has spent more than 50 years uplifting the Assamese art.
“The opening of this museum is an honour for the entire artists’ community not only for Assam but for all over the country,” he said.
“I’m thankful to the Cultural Studies department for the initiative they undertook to preserve the works of Neelpawan Baruah. I assure all cooperation from our family in the smooth functioning of this museum,” he added.
Representing the arts and craft society, noted artist Munindra Narayan Bhattacharya said he is happy to see the efforts of Tezpur University in preserving the artworks of Neelpawan Baruah.
“This is great news for all art lovers. This museum is a mark of respect to all artists,” said Bhattacharya.
“Everyone must have an aesthetic outlook in seeing things around us and appreciate it. Neelpawan Baruah has this aesthetic appreciation as evident from the artefacts made available to the public through the museum,” he said.
Deba Kumar Mishra, Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur, who was present at the inaugural function, said, “Every aspect of nature in Tezpur speaks for itself. Tezpur and Tezpur University in particular are apt places for recognizing the work of artists. This museum is a tribute to Neelpawan Baruah’s work and his commitment towards the society.”
Prof. Vinod Kumar Jain, Vice-Chancellor of Tezpur University appreciated the noble gesture of Neelpawan Baruah in giving his artworks to the university.
‘“It is indeed a noble and generous gesture of Neelpawan Baruah for sharing his work with us,” he said.
He requested the Assam Government in adding the museum and the university campus to the Assam Tourism brochure as a must-visit place in Assam and hope that this inclusion will give the tourist a scope to see the creativity of an artist, which can’t be realized without seeing it.