Renowned art historian and prolific writer, B. N. Goswamy, breathed his last at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh on Friday at the age of 90. His passing marks the end of an era in the world of art scholarship and leaves behind a legacy that has enriched the understanding of Pahari paintings.
A Swift Farewell
“It wasn’t a prolonged lingering illness. He was having a problem breathing for the last one month, but that was about it,” said a family member. The swift nature of his decline highlights the suddenness of his departure, leaving the art community in shock and mourning.
Celebrating a Lifetime of Achievements
Born on August 15, 1933, B. N. Goswamy was not only a Padma Shri but also a Padma Bhushan awardee, receiving recognition for his invaluable contributions to the field of art history. His niche expertise lay in the Pahari style of paintings, and his body of work has been a cornerstone for scholars and enthusiasts alike.
The Pahari Maestro
Mr. Goswamy authored more than 26 books on various subjects, including Pahari paintings, miniature paintings, court painters, and masters of Indian paintings. His dedication to unraveling the nuances of the Pahari style made him a revered figure, shaping the discourse on Indian art history.
Academic Achievements and Fellowships
Upon concluding his academic career, Punjab University bestowed upon Goswamy the title of Emeritus Professor. During different periods, he held prestigious fellowships, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship from 1969 to 1970 and the Sarabhai Fellowship in 1994. Additionally, he served as a Mellon Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.
Government Honors and Civilian Awards
In recognition of his outstanding contributions, the Government of India honored him with the civilian Padma Shri award in 1998. Furthermore, in 2008, Goswamy received another notable accolade as he was once again featured in the Republic Day Honours list, this time for the esteemed Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honor.