M. R. Acharekar

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M.R Acharekar
Murlidhar Ramchandra Acharekar

Delhi, India
OccupationArtist, Art Director, author
AwardsPadma Shri

Murlidhar Ramachandra Acharekar (1907–1979) was an Indian artist and film art director in Hindi cinema who won the Filmfare Best Art Direction Award three times: for Pardesi (1958), for Kaagaz Ke Phool (1960), and for Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1962).

Early life[edit]

Ramachandra Acharekar was born in the coastal village of Achra, Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra.[citation needed]


1923–28 M.R Acharekar Explored new areas of expression like photography and lithography. Started a lithopress, Bombay. Noted for his brilliant career with an early success at various exhibitions at home and abroad. Established himself easily as one of the most promising painters of his time. Executed important commissions like painting the historical event of the inauguration of the Round Table Conference by his late Majesty King George V of the United Kingdom, in 1932,the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of King George V in 1935, in London where he was sent with special credentials by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon.[citation needed]

He executed portraits of dignitaries and eminent men and women in India. His book, Rupadarsini, An Indian Approach to Human Form, established his reputation as a sound draughtsman and an excellent teacher.[citation needed]

Acharekar remained in the forefront of portrait paintings, especially of the commemorative genre, for more than forty years. He was also an educationist and a successful art director who raised art direction to a new height in the field of cinema. His interest and superb ability in live portraiture is apparent in the ease and rapidity of his renditions of human figures, retaining their character and likeness. It was the perfect academic discipline gained in his early life, the sheet anchor of his artistic credo, which facilitated these easy renderings. He remained alive to change and rejuvenate, evolving gradually without sudden revolutionary mutations. He remained very much his own master with no direct and obvious influences of any "isms".

Career Highlights[edit]

  • 1947 President, Art Society of India, Bombay.
  • 1952 He travelled to the United States, as a member of the Indian Film Delegation, at the invitation of Motion Picture Association of America and State Dept, USA.
  • 1954 Published Sky Scrapers and Flying Gandharvas.
  • 1956 The Apostle of Peace, pencil sketches of Jawaharlal Nehru was published.He worked with Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt as Art Director.
  • 1960 Member, Selection and Judging Committee, National Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
  • 1968 President, Cine Art Directors Association of India, Bombay.
  • 1972–73 President, Bombay Art Society, Bombay.
  • 1973 He was commissioned by the Selection Committee, National Art Gallery, Delhi.


  • 1917–23 Studied at Ketkar Institute of Art, Bombay.
  • 1928 Diploma in Painting, Govt. of Maharashtra, Bombay.
  • 1932–34 Studied at Royal College of Art, London.


  • 1932, Exhibited painting titled Round Table Conference, Imperial Institute, London.
  • 1937 Solo exhb. Inaugurated by Maharaja of Mandi, New Delhi.
  • 1954, 56, 58, 79 Solo exhibitions., Bombay.
  • 1973, exhibitions of 51 Paintings depicting the first hundred years of the freedom movement (1757–1856), inaugurated by Indira Gandhi, Birla Bhavan, New Delhi.
  • 2004, Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.


  • 1929- Painting Name- CONCENTRATION- Prize- Maharaja of Bhavnagar's Prize.
  • 1929- Same Painting wins Gold Medal in Bangalore & Nagpur.
  • 1930- Painting Name- PRAYER- Prize-Silver Medal, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai.
  • 1931- Painting Name- RIPOSE- Prize-Gold Medal, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai.
  • 1955 Awarded Tamra Patra, Govt. of India.
  • 1957, 59, 61 Filmfare Award, for Art Direction, Mumbai.
  • 1957 Awarded Film Journalists Association Trophy, Mumbai.
  • 1968 Awarded Padmashri, Govt of India.

Teaching experience[edit]

  • 1923 Appointed as Junior Teacher, Ketkar Institute of Art, Bombay.
  • 1937–39 Deputy Director, Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay.
  • 1948–56 Principal, Academy of Art, Bombay.

Art Direction/Production Design[edit]

External links[edit]