Eminent artist, art educator, Honorary Professor at the Department of Printmaking and former Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University and former Director General of Bangladesh National Museum Mahmudul Haque passed away Tuesday night due to COVID-19. He was 77.
The art maestro breathed his last at the United Hospital in the capital, where he was put on life support since Friday night. He was admitted to the hospital a week ago after testing positive for coronavirus.
His first Namaz-e-janaza took place in his beloved Faculty of Fine Art on Wednesday. His body was then taken to his ancestral house in Srifaltala village at the Rampal union in Bagerhat district where he will be buried on Thursday morning, according to his family sources.
Several artists and artistic organizations have expressed deep shock and condolences on hearing the departure of the eminent artist.
In a condolence message, DU Vice-Chancellor Akhtaruzzaman said that Professor Mahmudul Haque was a painter with patriotic, non-communal and human values, and has cemented his legacy through his signature of equal talent in painting and printmaking.
Popular artist Chanchal Chowdhury, an alumnus of DU's Faculty of Fine Art, wrote a heartfelt eulogy to his teacher Professor Mahmudul Haque on his Facebook profile on Wednesday. "I feel extremely lucky that I got to learn from all the legendary artists and maestros during my university life as a student. Many of my teachers have left the world, including my respected teacher artist Mahmudul Haque. May his soul rest in peace," he wrote.
Sourav Chowdhury, Executive Artistic Manager of Gallery Cosmos, said: "Professor Mahmudul Haque was a pioneer in the Bangladeshi Printmaking arena, and we deeply mourn for his demise."
Mahmudul Haque was born in the Srifaltala village at the Rampal union in Bagerhat district in 1945. He received his BFA from the then-College of Arts and Crafts in 1968 and started his eventful career as a faculty member at the same institution in the following year.
In 1984, Haque obtained his Masters in Printmaking at Tsukuba University in Japan as a recipient of the prestigious Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the Japanese Government.
He later served as the head of the Printmaking Department and the Director of the Institute of Fine Arts before retiring in 2010.
In his eventful career, Professor Haque also served as the Director General of Bangladesh National Museum, General Secretary of the Artist Association of Bangladesh, Cultural Secretary of the Bangladesh Japan Friendship Association, Chief Coordinator of Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh, and a Visiting Professor in several renowned universities in the world including Nebraska University, USA, Tsukuba University in Japan and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi, Pakistan.
His artistic works have been shown in 39 solo and several group exhibitions in the country and overseas. Honouring his artistic excellence, the Japanese government awarded Professor Haque with the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's highest civilian honour, in 2019.
Apart from these, Professor Haque received Suchiura City Best Painting Award in Japan, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award at the 10th National Art Exhibition in 1992, Honorary Award at the Asian Biennial Exhibition three times in 1993, 1995 and 1996, the 'Sultan Medal' of the SM Sultan Foundation and more.
Professor Mahmudul Haque is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
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