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A tribute to Anna Molka

Lahore

June 2, 2020

LAHORE:World’s largest search engine Google has paid tribute to renowned Pakistani artist and educator Anna Molka Ahmed, who founded Punjab University’s College of Art and Design (CAD).

According to a PU press release, Anna Molka Bridger was born on 13th August, 1917 in London, England. She was determined to become an artist from a young age and enrolled herself at the Royal College of Art in London. There she met her husband, and they soon moved to Lahore.

“Today’s Doodle honours acclaimed Pakistani artist and educator Anna Molka, the country’s

first art teacher to bring her students out of the classroom to paint outdoors.

On this day in 1940, she established the Fine Arts Department, now the University College of Arts & Design, at the University of the Punjab in Lahore, laying the foundation for decades of arts education in the country,” reads a message on Google’s doodle. She organised the first art exhibitions ever held in the country, and many of her students went on to establish their own university arts programmes throughout Pakistan.

Meanwhile, she never stopped painting, her expressionist work often combining European influences with inspiration from her adopted home country. In honour of her pioneering achievements in the world of fine arts education, she was honoured in 1963 with the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence), one of the highest civil awards for a citizen in Pakistan.

Punjab University has named one of its art galleries as Anna Molka Art Gallery. “Thank you, Anna Molka, for inspiring generations of Pakistani artists,” says Google.