A ROYAL MEETING AT GOVERNOR HOUSE LAHORE

A ROYAL MEETING AT GOVERNOR HOUSE LAHORE
VICEROY OF INDIA AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI

1934 Khan Bahadur joins royalty festivities

Lord Linlithgow Viceroy of India with Lady Linlithgow
Lord Linlithgow Viceroy of India with Lady Linlithgow

The British honoured M.A. Rahman Chughtai all the time. The display of his works at Wembley London in 1924 brought him much fame, and his two visits to Europe in 1932 and 1937, brought him closer to British Art Circles. With the award of the Khan Bahadur title in 1934, the artist was regularly invited to state functions at the Governor House Lahore. There are cards in our archives to various of these functions, and this continued even after partition. Every Head of State visiting Pakistan was introduced to our National Artist. That was before, instead of leaders, imbeciles became controllers of Pakistan.

Sir Herbert (William) Emerson by Bassano
Sir Herbert (William) Emerson by Bassano

One such visit is that of Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy of India to Lahore. Accompanied by his wife, the Governor of Punjab, Sir Herbert William Emerson threw a party at Governor House Lahore (at that time called Government House). M.A. Rahman Chughtai was invited there and introduced to the Viceroy as an established artist of India. Both the Linlithgows were very fond of Art and were happy to meet the artist. It set the tradition for hanging paintings of the artist at Governors House, and with given time there were 13 works of his in that place. Most of them stolen by ruthless Governors or their chief staffs. I think one or two originals only remain in the House today.

M.A. Rahman Chughtai 1937
M.A. Rahman Chughtai 1937

In any case knowledgeable leaders and politicians honoured their artists, and art and culture. Today there is not even a vague hope of same nor in the coming future.

Royal Invitation 1937
Royal Invitation 1937

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