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About the Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation


PDAF was founded in 2014 by late Dilip Dahanukar in honour of his wife Prafulla Dahanukar, who was an eminent modern artist of India at the time of the progressive movement post independence of India. Prafulla was known for her large heartedness and was very resourceful in connecting and encouraging young artists and musicians who showed talent and potential also making her a patron of the arts. 


Dilip Dahanukar started the foundation in her name and dedicated his time in supporting this vision to honour Prafulla's generous spirit in supporting the Arts and emerging artists. With his dedication and relentless energy he brought this foundation from an idea to reality in collaboration with artists and industry leaders making it reach all across the Indian subcontinent.

This foundation provides a much-needed platform for emerging artists across India by creating an inclusive space for artists of all backgrounds be recognised for their work. Each year, the foundation hosts a national online art competition (Kalanand) and has expanded to programs of Art outreach in schools (Balanand) and Senior citizens retirement homes (Sadanand).

This Art foundation is generously supported by artists, corporations, collaborators, friends, family, and well-wishers, without whom the success of this endeavour would not be possible.

Art is life itself, creative sensitivity fosters beauty.


Prafulla Dahanukar


About Prafulla Joshi Dahanukar

1934 - 2014 

Portrait of Prafulla by V.S.Gaitonde 1966


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the artist 

“Smt Prafulla Dahanukar was an acclaimed painter and patron of art. But much more than that she was a pillar of strength and support for the artistic fraternity in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Prafulla Dahanukar had a genuine concern for the young and upcoming artists and was ever so willing to help them. As President of the Bombay Art Society, she took various initiatives for the welfare of artists. It was her dream to create a place for the Bombay Arts Society in Mumbai. Her demise is a great loss to the world of art in Maharashtra.”

K. Sankaranarayanan

Former Governor of Maharashtra


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the artist for the artists

In 1953 the Bhulabhai Memorial Institute was a fountain of creativity that brought in artists in the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film, and literature. Prafulla shared a studio with V.S.Gaitonde at the Bhulabhai Desai Institute during the progressive movement and the emergence of modern art in India. Many of the artists who shared space there would go on to become the greatest artistic talent of that era. The exchange between all these diverse talents gave rise to an unprecedented explosion of new ideas and directions, including the progressive arts movement. 


Prafulla Joshi a gold medalist from the JJ School of Art gained a scholarship to go to Ecole de Beaux Arts Paris. She had a prolific career of over 50 shows in India and several in other countries in Europe and the Middle East. Her works are in collections all over the world.

Prafulla was a patron of the arts, a voice for artists and was the former Chairperson of the Bombay Arts Society, President of the Arts Society of India, Trustee and Board member of the Kala Academy in Goa, Lalit Kala Academy in Delhi, and mentor to many contemporary artists of today. She helped secure the land and played a major role in getting an independent building in Bandra, Mumbai for the Bombay Arts Society. 


In her life, she not only helped artists, but all artisans including folk artists, weavers and traditional jewellers, and flower garland makers. Being a connoisseur and ardent lover of music, she led the famed Bade Gulam Ali Yadgar Sabha and hosted and organised many concerts. She once organised a polyaesthetic event of music and art at the NCPA, with M F Hussein painting while listening to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi performing on the same stage. She saw all arts as connected with a purpose to enrich and elevate the human mind to be in communion with the immeasurable presence.


PDAF is now carried forward by Prafulla and Dilip's daughters Gauri Mehta and Gopika Dahanukar as well as Prafulla's niece Rukmini Dahanukar. The team supports are Snehal Khedkar and Hemant Vichare.


T E A M   M E M B E R S  P D A F

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