Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art
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Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art is an Indian applied art institution based in Mumbai. It is a state government college that was created through its sister school, the Sir J. J. School of Art. The "Sir J. J." in the name stands for Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy, a Parsi philanthropist whose name is linked to numerous historical institutions of Mumbai, such as the Sir J. J. Hospital. In 1958, Sir J. J. School of Art was divided, with the Departments of Architecture and Applied Art becoming the Sir J. J. College of Architecture and Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art respectively.
Commercial Art Section
The Institute of Applied Art history first began with the founding of its sister school, the Sir J. J. School of Art. The school opened through the help of a donation by Jamsetji Jeejeebhai in 1857.
During the Second World War the school was threatened with closure. At the time the school was run by the British Bombay government and its funding came directly from the government. In preparation for the looming war many committees were set up to review excess government expenditure and divert money to defense needs. The close scrutiny of one such "Thomas Committee" fell on the Sir J. J. School of Art. The committee recommended that the school be shut down, claiming that it only contributed to furthering personal talents of artists and was of no use to society in general.
The director of the J. J. School of Art set out to rectify the situation. In 1935 Mr. Soloman was the dean of J.J. In 1946, J. J. School of Art started a new department, the Commercial Art Section, or CAS. The objective of this division was to impart all of the necessary training in art with an eye on students being able to exploit this training for commercial purposes. A direct contribution of this section was to aid the war preparations of the government by designing propaganda and public awareness posters. This exercise was a huge success. Therefore, the government decided not to shut down the Sir J. J. School of Art. The students trained at the CAS soon found that they were in considerable demand from the commercial industries of Mumbai (then Bombay) to design publicity material. Also, the fledgling advertising industry lapped up talent from the CAS, creating a set of people who would end up being counted among the founders of Indian advertising.
The CAS became popular among applicants to the Sir J.J. School of Art, as it offered a direct means of earning a livelihood to skilled artists who had completed the course. Soon, this once-small section of the school began receiving more student applications than the main part of the institute. At this time India had gained independence. The government, which still ran the school, separated the CAS from the rest of the school and create the Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art. Professor V.N. Adarkar was named the institutes first principal and later went on to become its first dean).
With the firstdean, V. N. Adarkar, the institute has been headed over the years by various deans. Notable amongst them in recent years being H. G. Hanmante, Prof.Kamat and M. G. Rajadhyaksha.
Over the years, Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art has been involved with several projects on social awareness that include "Know the Five-Year Plan "in the 1950s, "Our Himalayas" during the 1963 Sino-Indian War, and the "International Tourist Fair — Bombay" in 1965.
The current course leads to successful students receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Applied Art from Mumbai University. The total duration of this course is four years, with the first year referred to as a "Foundation" year, and the later three being referred to as "Specialization" years. A student chooses his or her area of major specialization from amongst areas such as Illustration, Photography, Typography, Exhibition Display or Computer Graphics.
The Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art provides more than half of the Indian advertising industry's top art talent. There is a widely held belief among past professors of the institute, as well as art educators, that it would be best for the future health of the institution if the state government grants autonomy to the institute. This would clear the way to a much-needed revamp of the quality of teaching and infrastructure and bring modern day requirements to the school.
The campus is located in south-Mumbai (opposite VT station) and houses the Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, the Sir J. J. School of Art, Sir J. J. College of Architecture, and the Government Institute of Printing Technology. The campus contains many trees that are more than a century old, and houses numerous heritage buildings.
The Kipling connection
The most renowned building on the campus is the century-and-half-old wood and stone bungalow that was Rudyard Kipling's birthplace. An ornate metal plaque at the entrance of this house is engraved with the words, "Rudyard Kipling, son of Lockwood Kipling, first principal of Sir J. J. School of Art, was born here on 30.12.1865." Traditionally the home of the deans for both the Sir J. J. School of Art and Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, this identically-split-bungalow attracts numerous Kipling-enthusiasts from all over the world. For decades now, the Kipling side of the bungalow has been the official Dean's Residence of the dean of Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art. During the tenure of the last residing dean, Prof. M. G. Rajadhyaksha, a bust of Rudyard Kipling was also unveiled at the entrance to this bungalow as homage to the legendary writer of works such as The Jungle Book and If—.
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