HOW DOES ART AND ARTISTS STILL EXIST?
M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI THE ONLY AND ONLY ART PATRON
Have you ever heard the concept of art patronage in Pakistan? Have you ever seen in recent years the Government of Pakistan or the provincial governments buying Art in Pakistan and encouraging an impoverished artist community here. Once upon a time there was a financial award attached to the Pride of Performance award in Pakistan. Does business community supports the Arts? Shame shame and utter shame on our rich class, who have gotten riches by fair or unfair means but never developed the knack of doing anything good with their money. Can we never have a Paul Getty, Arthur Sackler or Dr William K Ehrenfeld here in Pakistan? Probably not for many, many years.
But there is a future and we can only hope for it. Hope that one day the Sun will shine again on the class of people who need support to continue their existence. Obviously artists were never bothered about worldly matters and the Sultans and Queens cared for them. Today democracy has failed to evolve systems to encourage them. The real artists have declined in the country, only those are prospering who have sold their souls and dance on the tunes of foreign lobbies. Their favorite motto is to rewrite our history and curse our Ideology. For that they are willing to do anything. Anything means that what they create is time bound to evaporate into nothingness.
Buying power is not related to Art patronage. In fact very ordinary people with zero purchasing power too opt for Art at their own levels. But it is the duty of the rich to foster Art growth in country. Paul Getty would have died an ordinary death and faded in history, but his making of the GETTY MUSEUM in Malibu California will keep his name alive literally till eternity. Same is the case with others.
This makes us come to the story of CHUGHTAI MUSEUM. A concept engendered by M.A. Rahman Chughtai to save his most precious Art works as well as Art works of other artists as well as one of the best libraries possible within his means, in form of a museum in Lahore. Instead of supporting him in his venture, the Federal a well as Punjab Government tried their best to stop him for he was not in the good books of foreign lobbies who did not want the Ideology of Pakistan strengthened through such means. The museum survive and we have worked for 40 years to put it on the map of the Art world. But that is another story.