In 1928 the then British Government decided to build India House in London. The prominent artists of India came together under the banner of AIFACS and took up the cause of decorating the Indian House with the British Government. It was at this juncture that the society sent it's Ist All India Art Exhibition to London to enable the British Government to select the artists for the decoration of India House. Four Artists from the exhibition - Dhirendra Krishan Deb Burman, Ranada Ukil, Lalit Mohan Sen, Sudhangshu Choudhury were selected for the job and the works executed by them still adorn the India House, London.
The exhibition sent to London in 1928 got very good response from the European Countries and was circulated to various European Countries and returned back only in 1932. Since then the Society is holding it's All India Annual Art Exhibition regularly.
The Society was registered on 25th April, 1938 under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, with it's registration number S-124
In 1988 after a lapse of 60 years the society held its 2nd All India Art Exhibition in London which was later invited by UAE and was held at Sharjah in 1989.
The Society has so far held the following major activities:-
79 Annual All India Art Exhibitions have been held, and the 80-81st Annual All India Art Exhibition was held in March, 2009. In the Annual Exhibitions entries are invited from different parts of the country and awards are awarded to deserving artists. This activity has become very popular and the Society was forced to hold the exhibition in two parts to accommodate more artists and display more works of art.
To do justice to the various trends of art, it has been decided to rotate the President of India's Silver Plaque in the following order.
The Society has held 11 International Contemporary Art Exhibitions. The idea of holding international exhibitions was to give opportunity to the people of India to see the works from different countries and compare the same with the works of Indian artists. This was also to give an opportunity to Indian artists to gain knowledge of the various trends of arts prevailing in the world.
The Society has also held so far 2 International Exhibitions of Art Books and Periodicals; 2 International Women Art Exhibitions ; One International Photo Exhibition.
The Society has also held so far 8 All India Photo Exhibitions and 16 All India Studio Pottery Exhibitions.
To encourage the decaying water colour and traditional art, the Society has held so far 10 All India Water colour Exhibitions and 8 All India Traditional Art Exhibitions.
To give recognition to Veteran Artists of India, the Society has held 7 All India Veteran Artists Exhibitions in which artists above the age of 60 years, from all over India Participated. 7th All India Veteran Artists Exhibition was held in the month of February, 2003. Where 100 artists were honoured. The Society gives Rs.3000/-per year for purchase of colour material to all Veteran Artists honoured by the Society.
The Society held its 1st Asian Art Exhibition in 1947 and the 2nd Asian Art Exhibition was held in March,1999.
The Society has been circulating the above important exhibitions to different parts of the country also.
The Society in 1994 established its Regional Centre at Panchkula, Haryana where all the major activities held in Delhi , are also held.
The Society has held All India Art Exhibitions in all the five continents of the world and has organised exhibitions from different countries in Delhi and other parts of India thereby strengthening cultural ties between India and different countries of the world.
In the month of January, 1999 the Society held an exhibition of women artists of Korea and general exhibition of paintings from Korea also. In the month of Feburary,1999 the Society held an Exhibition of works by Scandinavian artists at the galleries of the Society.
With the dawn of freedom the art movement of India got a boost and the Govt of Independent India Received many cultural exchange exhibitions and delegations. The AIFACS came to the aid of Government and took up the job of cultural exchanges with different countries and organised art exhibitions and also sent art delegations to foreign countries between 1947 to 1954 namely: China – Peking, Nanking, Singhai, Japan-Osaka and Tokyo, Australia-Sydney-Adelade, Melbourne, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Cairo, Istanbul, Ankara and Bagdad, USSR- Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad and Kiev, Poland, Bulgaria, Cuba, US, Czechosolvakia and other countries.
The AIFACS reciprocated by sponsoring exhibitions from the foreign countries which were held not only in Delhi but also organised exhibitions in other important art centres like- Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and Hyderabad. The Society also introduced holding of contemporary International Ehibitions.
In 1954, the Govt. of India established the Central Akademi , Lalit Kala to look after the cultural exchange and other cultural activities. Even after the establishment of the Lalit Kala Akademi, the Society continued organising Indian Art Exhibitions in Foreign counties and foreign art exhibitions in India and also International exhibitions. The Society also sent Cultural delegations to Afganisthan, China, Australia, Japan, Middle East, USSR, Poland, Bulgaria London, UAE, Indonesia, Singapore and the Society's representative attended Art Conference in Japan, Mexico and Korea.
In the year 1977-78, AIFACS organised 1 st World Art Conference in which 29 delegates attended from 15 foreign countries. The Conference lasted for a week.
During 1984, the Society decided to honour Veteran artists above the age of 60 years from all over the country every 3 years. Six such exhibitions and honouring functions have been held by the Society.
The Society during its Diamond Jubilee instituted its Title Awards i.e. Kala Ratna, Kala Vibhushan and Kala Shree and have already held three such functions for awarding the Title Awards to the deserving artists. The Society pays Rs.30,000/-, Rs.15000/- and Rs.7500/- respectively with the Title Awards. Each time 10 artists are awarded in each category.
The Society is regularly publishing its prestigious art journal “Roopa-Lekha” and a monthly bulletin “Art News” since 1928. AIFACS has casually published portfolios of Reproductions, Picture Post Cards, Art Reproductions, Monographs and thematic books.
Firsts of AIFACS
The First All India Annual Art Exhibition was held in the year 1928 and this exhibition is being held regularly 70th Annual All India Art Exhibition was held in January, 1999.
The First travelling exhibition was held by the Society in the year 1930 and so far Society has held numerous travelling exhibitions in different parts of the country.
The First ever Indian Art Exhibition held in London was organized by the AIFACS in 1928. This exhibition was circulated to other European Countries and was on display in various countries between 1928-1932. The 2nd Indian Art Exhibition in London was held in 1988, during Diamond Jubilee of the AIFACS.
First Asian Art Exhibition was in the year 1947 and the 2nd Asian Art Exhibition is being held at the galleries of the Society between 26th and 30th March,1999.
First International Contemporary Art Exhibition was held by the Society in 1946 and the Society has held so far 11 International Contemporary Art Exhibition.
First International Graphic Art Exhibition was held in 1974 and the Society has held so far 3 International Graphic Art Exhibitions.
First All India Photo Exhibition in 1972 and the Society has held so far 4 All India Photo Exhibitions.
The Society has also held 1st International Photo exhibition
First All India Women Art Exhibition. The Society also held 2nd All India women Art Exhibition which was organized by the AIFACS in collaboration with the Mahila Imdad Committee at Rashtrapati Bhawan in 1975.
Second International Women Art Exhibition was held during Golden Jubilee of the Society.
The Society also held the First International Exhibition of Art Books and Periodicals and the 2nd International Exhibition of Art Books and Periodicals was held in 1982.
The Society also held the First International Art Films Festival in 1978.
The Society held the First All India Drama Festival in 1972 and repeated the Same for a number of years.
First Kala Mela was held by the Society in the year 1972
First All India Traditional Art Exhibition, the Society has held so far 8 All India Traditional Art Exhibitions.
First All India water Colour Exhibition, the Society has held so far 10 All India water Colour Exhibitions.
First All India Portrait Art Exhibition and has held so far 4 All India Portrait Exhibition.
First All India Surrealistic Art Exhibition
First All India Amateur Artist Exhibition and repeated the same for a number of years.
First All India Drawing Exhibition and the Society has held 5 All India Drawing Exhibitions.
First All India Graphic Art Exhibition and Society has held so far 5 All India Graphics Art Exhibitions.
First All India Mini Sculpture Exhibition. The 2nd All India Mini Sculpture Exhibition of the Society was held in the year 1995.
First All India Art Conference was held in 1946.
First world Art Conference was held in 1978.
First All India Veteran Artists Exhibition was held in 1984. And the Society has held recently its 6 th All India Veteran Artists Exhibition.
First All India honouring of artists with Title Awards function in 1988.
First All India Art Exhibition in Afghanistan in 1949.
First All India Art Exhibition in China – Peking , Nanking & Shanghai in 1951.
First All India Art Exhibition in Japan , Osaka & Tokyo in 1952.
First All India Art Exhibition in USSR , Moscow , Leningrad , Stalingrad and Kiev in 1953.
First All India Art Exhibition in Poland.
First All India Art Exhibition in Bulgaria.
First All India Art Exhibition in Cuba.
First All India Art Exhibition in Australia in 1951, Sydney , Adelade, Melbourne.
First Indian Art Exhibition in Sharjah UAE in 1989.
First All India Exhibition at Mexico in 1995.
First Art Publication “ Roopa-Lekha” published by the Society during 1928. The Society has published 63 Volumes so far.
First Art News Bulletin “Art News” The Society is publishing Art News regularly Quarterly issue.
All India Art Publication "Glimpses of Indian Art 1947-97" published by the Society during Golden Jubilee of the India's Independence.
First Monograph on the eminent artists of India. First in the series is monograph on Late Shri R.S. Bisht under print. The society has published 2nd monograph in this series on Ram Nath Pasricha.
First All India Pottery Exhibition, the society has held 12 All India Studio Pottery Exhibitions.
Names & Addresses
Shri K.N. Haksar, C.I.E.
Prime Minister's House,