15 Facts About Haku Shah


Haku Vajubhai Shah was an Indian painter, Gandhian, cultural anthropologist and author on folk and tribal art and culture.


Haku Shah's art belonged to the Baroda Group and his works are considered in the line of artists who brought themes of folk or tribal art to Indian art.


Haku Shah received several awards including the Padma Shri, the Jawarharlal Nehru Fellowship and the Kala Ratna for his contribution to art.


Haku Vajubhai Shah was born on 26 March 1934, in Valod to Vajubhai and Vadanben.


Haku Shah's mother was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and it influenced him.


Haku Shah completed his primary and secondary school education in Valod and was an active member of student union.


Haku Shah graduated in Fine Arts from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 1955, followed by a master's degree in Fine Arts from the same university.

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Haku Shah worked at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, primarily as a ethnographer.


In 1970, Fischer and Shah published the book Rural Craftsmen and their Work at NID.


Haku Shah's work caught the public eye, and by 1965 he had held several one-man shows in Kolkata and Mumbai.


Haku Shah received the Rockefeller Grant in the same year and in 1971, the Nehru Fellowship Award.


Haku Shah taught at a Gandhian Ashram in south Gujarat for several years and established a tribal museum at Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad, which was set up by Mahatma Gandhi.


Haku Shah curated the museum for several years, which was to become his last legacy.


Haku Shah's work is deeply influenced by the tribal art and culture, a theme on which he wrote several of his works, and Bhakti movement, especially its Nirguna poetry.


Haku Shah died on 21 March 2019 in Ahmedabad following cardiac arrest at his home.