Sir J. J. School of Art
TypePublic art school
EstablishedMarch 1857; 167 years ago (1857-03)
AffiliationUniversity of Mumbai
DeanVishwanath D. Sabale
78, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai - 400 001

18°56′42″N 72°50′01″E / 18.94505°N 72.83352°E / 18.94505; 72.83352

The Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art (Sir J. J. School of Art) is the oldest art institution in Mumbai, India,[1] and is affiliated with the University of Mumbai. The school grants bachelor's (B.F.A) degrees in Painting, ceramic, Metal work, Interior decoration, Textile design and Sculpture as well as Master's degrees (M.F.A) in Portraiture, Creative Painting, Murals, Sculpture, and Printmaking.


Early history

Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy and his Chinese secretary (1783–1859) portrait at the Sir J. J. School of Art

The School founded in March 1857, was named after Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy, a businessman and philanthropist who donated Rs. 100,000 for its endowment. Operations were managed by a committee headed by the Chief Justice of Bombay. The School's first class was in drawing, and began on 2 March 1857. Classes were held at the Elphinstone Institution. John Griffiths became Principal of the School in 1865. He later became famous for copying the murals in the Ajanta Caves temple complex, a project which lasted from 1872 to 1891, and which the School's students assisted in.[2]

In 1866, management of the school was taken over by the Government of India. Also in 1866, Lockwood Kipling, who had become a professor of the School in 1865, established three ateliers for (i) Decorative Paintings, (ii) Modelling; and (iii) Ornamental Wrought Iron Work, and became its first dean. He was the father of the author Rudyard Kipling, who was born on the School's campus.[3] In 1878, the school moved to its own building, where it is currently situated. The building was designed by architect George Twigge Molecey,[4] in neo Gothic architecture.[5] The School campus, including the Kipling House, better known as the Dean's Bungalow, is classified as Grade II heritage structure by the Government of Maharashtra, and underwent a restoration in 2002-2006, and again in 2008.[4]

Drawing instruction as a subject was introduced in 1879 and a programme for training drawing teachers was started in 1893. In 1891, the Lord Reay Art Workshops (now known as the Department of Art-Crafts) were established.


The School had an important tradition in architecture. In 1900, the School offered its first course in architecture, taught by John Begg, later Consulting Architect of Bombay and of the Government of India. A complete 4-year programme was established in 1908 under Begg's assistant George Wittet. In 1917, architect Claude Batley became a visiting professor; he was Principal of the School from 1923 to 1943, and is commemorated in the Claude Batley Architectural Gallery for architectural exhibitions, opened in 1996.

In 1896, the Draughtsman's classes, the nucleus of the Department of Architecture, were added. This Department was later organised for a 3 years Diploma Course which was duly recognised by the R.I.B.A. Board.

In 1910, the Sir George Clarke Studies and Laboratories were built for the advanced study of crafts, pottery being the first craft taken up for study. In 1929, the head of the School was renamed "Director", and in 1935, the Department of Commercial Art was also started.

In 1937 M.R. Acharekar was appointed deputy director and continued his tenure till 1939. Shri. V. S. Adurkar was the first Indian head of the school, succeeding Claude Batley as Director in 1943.


In 1958, the school was divided, with the Departments of Architecture and Applied Art becoming the Sir J. J. College of Architecture and Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art respectively.

In 1981, the School became affiliated with the University of Mumbai.

List of alumni

See also: Category:Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art alumni


  1. ^ Mumbai’s oldest and most prestigious art institution, the Sir JJ School of Art. Times of India, 6 October 2002.
  2. ^ Art heritage, saved by sunshine law[dead link] Indian Express, 2 March 2007. "...when the Public Works Department took up repainting of the building, the paintings had been shifted to the terrace and may have been washed out after the 26/7 deluge two years ago.(2005)"
  3. ^ Kipling house to become museum Times of India, Oct 5, 2007.
  4. ^ a b After years, Sir JJ School of Art begins to BREATHE Times of India, Nov 7, 2008. "Kipling House (Dean's Bungalow)The original cottage was brought down in the early 1900s and a new house built on the same spot."
  5. ^ a b Celebrating 150 years Times of India, 3 March 2007.
  6. ^ J. Clement Vaz, "Profiles of Eminent Goans Past and Present", Concept Publishing Company, 1997, ISBN 9788170226192
  7. ^ Deepti Mulgund; Melania Savino; Eva-Maria Troelenberg (6 February 2017). "Imaginaries of the Art Museum: Banaras and Aundh in Colonial India: Connecting Gaze and Discourse in the History of Museology". Images of the Art Museum: Connecting Gaze and Discourse in the History of Museology. De Gruyter. pp. 230–235. ISBN 978-3-11-034136-2.
  8. ^ "Homai gets Padma Vibhushan". The Times of India. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011.
  9. ^ Meher, Castelino (1994). Fashion Kaleidoscope. India: Rupa & Co. p. 113. ISBN 978-8171671557.
  10. ^ "Biography Laxman Pai". Ask Art. 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  11. ^ Kumar, Anu (9 January 1999). "JJ Institute: 150 years of lettering the poor". Indian Express. Archived from the original on 26 May 2009.
  12. ^ Kannan, Ganesh (18 March 2019). "Nadhiya". OneNov. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Surana, Pannalal (2010). Buland Avaaj Baicha (बुलंद आवाज बाईचा). Sadhana Prakashan, Pune.
  15. ^ "Saryu Doshi - high priestess of the art world". DNA Syndicate. 1 October 2005. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  16. ^ Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Uday Shankar". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  17. ^ "A photographer with a difference". Times of India. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2016.