Dashrath Patel

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'Flame-thrower', a statue at the entrance of IT corridor Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Chennai.[1]

Dashrath Patel (1927 – December 1, 2010) was Indian designer, sculptor, who was the founder secretary of the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, from 1961 to 1981.[2]

He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 1981,[3] followed by the Padma Bhushan, posthumously in 2011.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Sojitra, Gujarat, Patel studied fine arts at Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai (1949–53), where Debi Prasad Roy Choudhury was his mentor; thereafter studied painting, sculpture and ceramics during his Post Graduate studies at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1953–1955).[5][6]


He practiced in diverse art fields as a painter, ceramist, a graphic designer, industrial design and exhibition design. Early in his career he was contemporary of Tyeb Mehta, M.F. Hussain and V. S. Gaitonde who were together in the 1950s in Bhulabhai Desai Institute, Mumbai, and often exhibited alongside them. Later Henri Cartier-Bresson introduced him to photography, after former visited his exhibition at the Galerie Barbizon, Paris.[7][8] He remained the secretary of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad for its first 20 years, from 1961, he also established the ceramics department at the institute.[7] He resigned from NID in 1981 disillusioned, and went on to establish the Rural Design School in Sewapuri, near Varanasi.[5]

During his career he collaborated extensively with artists, American designer Charles Eames, artist Harindranath Chattopadhyay, dancer Chandralekha.[2] He died in Ahmedabad after a brief illness, at the age of 83. He was bachelor.

During the last decade of his life, he worked largely from Alibagh, near Mumbai, where the Dashrath Patel Museum now houses his multidisciplinary oeurve.[9]


  1. ^ Ravindran, Shruti (29 December 2008). "Purple Goldfish". Outlook India. 
  2. ^ a b "Dashrath Patel`s death marks end of a design era". Zee News. December 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954-2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-10. 
  4. ^ "Padma Awards Announced" (Press release). Ministry of Home Affairs. 25 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Thinker in the visual realm". The Hindu. Dec 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ Design Teachers: Dashrath Patel, Biography designindia.net.
  7. ^ a b "Understanding Dashrath Patel". Frontline, Volume 16 - Issue 15. July 17–30, 1999. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. 
  8. ^ "Design Dada Dashrath Patel is dead". The Times of India. Dec 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Remembering Dashrath Patel: 1927-2010". Narthaki. December 23, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-01-29. 

External links[edit]