K. G. Maheshwari
A Doyen of Photography
Mr. K. G. Maheshwari, a legendary photo artist of India passed away on 05 December – 2014 in Mumbai. He was a photo artist of high caliber, a great human being and a torch bearer for photography enthusiasts.
Born on November 2, 1922, Maheshwari’s interest in Photography as a hobby began from his school days. His father wanted him to take up Music as hobby and a teacher was asked to come and audition the boy at home. But the result was disappointing when the teacher declared that the boy did not have the kind of voice. A pragmatic boy decided to take up Photography as his hobby, instead. His father used to subscribe to Illustrated Weekly and young Maheshwari used to diligently go through the pages devoted to photography. He started with a Box camera when in school. Later on, he acquired a Rollie, a Leica M3 and a Mamiaflex 330.
In 1938, P. J. Patel of Central Camera asked him to send his photographs for a competition organized by Niharika Camera Pictorialists of Gujarat and he won a prize in the Beginners Section. This is how he really got interested in photography.
He did not go through any formal training in photography, as there was none such available. Circumstances around him favoured by putting him into close contact with people who were advanced photographers – people who were mature in the art and practice of photography like late Jehangirjee Unwalla, the doyen of Indian Photography and late Burjorji Fanibunda, and he acknowledged that he had learnt the real technique of pictorial print making from these great practitioners. In 1941 he got married and as things could happen his wife Shanti not only encouraged him to continue practising his pet hobby to the fullest but so to say, shared it by giving her utmost might and main to his hobby of making pictorial photography a part of their lives.
He regularly participated in the exhibitions of photography at national and international levels. He had achieved about 1600 acceptances and around 400 awards in these reputed shows.
Various photographic organizations honoured him for his treasured contribution into the field of photography. A few among them are the Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1946, Honorary Fellowship of the India International Photographic Council, Delhi, in 1985, Hon. FIP by the Federation of India Photography, Kolkata in 2009 and Associateship of the Photographic Society of America in 1992. The Photographic Society of India, Mumbai, had honoured him with its Honorary Life Membership in 1975. Above all The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India honoured him with Lifetime Achievement Award for his noble efforts for the sake of art.
He had been on the panel of judging of several National and International Exhibitions and was a member of the Honors Committees of the India International Photographic Council and the Photographic Society of India.
A collection of his photographic work spanning over four decades was published in a book form entitled ‘PRINTS AND IMPRINTS’ by the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta. He contributed articles to various photographic journals and submitted papers at different seminars.
He took keen interest in conducting photography workshops for art lovers. His favorite subject was ‘Pictorial Portraiture’.
Mr. Maheshwari was a master of Pictorial Portraiture. The portraits photographed by him attract the attention of viewers at first sight. These portraits are the perfect mix of emotions, excellent light and fine composition.
The passing away of Mr. K. G. Maheshwari is a big loss to the world of photography art. He will always be remembered for his precious contribution for art.
--Dr. Pankaj Sharma (After Mr. D. C. Bhachech)
(Memories Forever: Myself with Mr. K. G. Maheshwari Ji in January-201o)