Anna Molka Ahmed

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Anna Molka Ahmed
Photo of Anna Molka Ahmed.jpg
Molly Bridger [1]

1917 (1917)[2]
London, England
Died1994 (aged 76–77)[2]
Lahore, Pakistan
EducationSaint Martin's School of Art, London
Known forPainting, educator
Sheikh Ahmed
(m. 1939; div. 1951)

Anna Molka Ahmed (13 August 1917[4] –1995) was a Pakistani artist and a pioneer of fine arts in the country after its independence in 1947.[3] She was a professor of fine arts at the University of the Punjab in Lahore.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Anna Molka Ahmed was born Molly Bridger to Jewish parents, in London, England. Her mother was Polish and father was a Russian.

She converted to Islam at the age of 18 in 1935, before marrying Sheikh Ahmed in October 1939, who was currently studying in London at the time.

She studied painting, sculpture and design at St. Martin School of Arts, London, and received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Art.[5]

They moved to Lahore in 1940, besides painting, Ahmed taught fine arts at the University of the Punjab.[3] Professor Emeritus Anna Molka Ahmed set up the Department of Fine Arts now called the College of Arts and Design at the University of the Punjab, which she headed until 1978.[6]

In 1951, Ahmed divorced her husband, but remained in Pakistan with her two daughters until her death on 24 April 1994.

In her 55 year career, "she was well known as a painter of evocative landscapes, grand thematic figurative compositions and observant, insightful portraits. Her works are characterised by a signature impasto technique executed in a flamboyant, vivid palette." [7]

Awards and honours[edit]

Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) (1963) by the Government of Pakistan for her services in the field of fine arts education[2]

Postage stamp[edit]

On 14 August 2006, the Pakistan Post issued a Rs. 40 sheetlet of stamps to posthumously honour 10 Pakistani painters. Besides Anna Molka Ahmed, the other nine painters were: Laila Shahzada, Askari Mian Irani, Sadequain, Ali Imam, Shakir Ali, Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Zubeida Agha, Ahmed Pervez and Bashir Mirza.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Profile and Anna Molka Ahmed's awards info listed Archived 1 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine website, Retrieved 14 December 2017
  3. ^ a b c "Ana Molka Ahmed: The First Female Painter of Pakistan". Pakistanpaedia. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sumera Jawad (12 August 2011). "Remembering Anna Molka Ahmed". The Friday Times (newspaper). Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Profile of Professor Anna Molka Ahmed". The Friday Times (newspaper). Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Posthumous tribute to Ten Great Painters by Pakistan Post Office website Retrieved 14 December 2017

External links[edit]