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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Karpuri Devi, the eminent Mithila painting artist and creator of Mithila Museum in Japan passes away

A native of Ranti, which is widely known as Mithila art destination in Madhubani district, Karpuri Devi is survived by a son, Vinay Bhushan, who is a senior government official in Delhi and a daughter, Moti Karn who also happens to be a national and state award winning Madhubani artist.

art-and-culture Updated: Jul 31, 2019 12:45 IST
Reena Sopam
Reena Sopam
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Karpuri Devi had been ailing for the last several weeks and was undergoing treatment at the Heart Hospital at Mangarauni village in Madhubani where she breathed her last on Tuesday morning.
Karpuri Devi had been ailing for the last several weeks and was undergoing treatment at the Heart Hospital at Mangarauni village in Madhubani where she breathed her last on Tuesday morning.
         

Eminent Mithila painting artist, Karpuri Devi (94) passed away this morning. Devi had been ailing for the last several weeks and was undergoing treatment at the Heart Hospital at Mangarauni village in Madhubani where she breathed her last on Tuesday morning.

A native of Ranti, which is widely known as Mithila art destination in Madhubani district, Karpuri Devi is survived by a son, Vinay Bhushan, who is a senior government official in Delhi and a daughter, Moti Karn who also happens to be a national and state award winning Madhubani artist.

She will be cremated at Ranti on Wednesday. Devi is an acclaimed artist and the winner of several state awards and national merit certificate given by the Ministry of textiles, Union government, Devi ji belonged to the first generation of Mithila painting artists who brought this art form on the global map of the folk art and with her came Madhubani district, especially its Ranti village, on the world map.

She had inherited this art from her mother and other seniors in the family and had exhibited her works not only in the state and the county, but also in the countries like US, UK, Japan and France. She had remained the most travelled Mithila artist who had visited Japan nine times and spent years in that country, working at the Mithila Museum which is located in Tokamachi hills in Japan’s Nigata region.

“It was in 1987 she was invited to Japan to work at the Mitila Museum. Initially she hesitated. There was language problem. But she was provided an interpreter in Kolkata and this facility made her quite comfortable with the situation. But after just the first visit, she had learnt to create rapport with new world and had adapted the lifestyle there,” Vibha Das, a state award winner and daughter-in-law of Padam Shri Mahasudari Devi, said.

Its because of this adjustment with the life in Japan she visited the country nine times. Tokio Hasegawa, the man behind this Mithila Museum, was so impressed with her expertise that he did not want to let her go back to her country, she added. “And when the Mithila Museum was ready she was invited to inaugurate it and was felicitated by the museum authorities. It was a proud moment not only for the artist, but also for the state,” she said.

One important thing about her was that she had mastery over both the Mithila art and Sujani art and had won state award for Mithila art while national merit certificate was given to her for the Sujani works, she added.

Pramod Kumar, culture minister, who was in Delhi, said death of Karpuri Devi has not only created a void in the realm of Mithila art, but is also a big loss for the state. “Only recently chief minister Nitish Kumar has laid foundation stone of the Mithila Art Institute to preserve and promote Mithila art. We wanted to work and develop the art form under her direction. But it will not be possible now,” he said. Minister said she would always remain a source of inspiration for young generation artists.

Sharad Kumar, a papier machie artist from Jitwarpur (Madhubani) said Karpuri ji had played important role in showcasing Mithila art in different countries in the Festival of India series of events.

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First Published: Jul 31, 2019 12:45 IST

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