Google honors Pakistani artist Anna Molka Ahmed with a Doodle

Google paid homage to the celebrated Pakistani educator and artist, Anna Molka Ahmed on Monday 1st June. She was the founder of Punjab University of Art and Design.

Born on August 13, 1917, in the UK, Anna was passionate about art from a young age, therefore, she took admission to the Royal College of Art in London. Soon she moved to Lahore and laid the foundation of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Punjab on June 1, 1940. She is considered the country’s first art teacher to take students outdoors to paint.

Anna Molka Ahmed“She was determined to become an artist from a young age, and despite her parents’ disapproval, eventually enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London. There she met her husband, and the pair soon moved to Lahore.

Ahmed’s path took a fortuitous turn when she responded to an ad from the University of the Punjab seeking an artist to open a women’s art department at the school. In 1940, she became the first head of the university’s Fine Arts Department, and over more than thirty years, she was instrumental in fostering a culture of arts education in Pakistan.

She organized the first art exhibitions ever held in the country, and many of her students went on to establish their own university arts programs throughout Pakistan. Meanwhile, Ahmed never stopped painting, her expressionist work often combining European influences with inspiration from her adopted home country.

In honor of her pioneering achievements in the world of fine arts education, Ahmed was honored in 1963 with the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence), one of the highest awards for a citizen in Pakistan,” said Google in a press release. Furthermore, the search engine thanked Anna Molka Ahmed for “inspiring generations of Pakistani artists.”

Partnering with Google, her daughter, Zarah David penned, “My childhood was fun as Mummy was a lively person who made my life interesting with her love for music and the performing arts. It was her vision that apart from studies, children needed to be encouraged to have a well rounded education. I had tutors for teaching me classical singing, classical dance and learning to play various musical instruments. All this enabled me to take part in various charity shows and plays. This background in the arts guided me in my life’s journey as well.”

Related: Tribute To Ustad Mehdi Hassan

“Her volatile personality, her vim and vigor, the love she had for her adoptive country, carried her through the tough times. When you look back and see the hurdles she had to overcome, one realizes what a remarkable person she was and what she was able to accomplish. There are so many who were her colleagues and students who went on to reach great heights and have always remembered her with pride,” she continued.

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