Sir JJ School of Arts

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Sir J. J. School of Art

Dr. D. N. Road,


Sir J. J. School of Art was found in March 1857,through an endowment of Rs. 100,000 made in 1833 with the generous donation offered by Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy, the first Baronet. The first art class was started at the Elphinstone Institution on 2nd March,1857. Lockwood Kipling, the father of Rudyard Kipling, started classes in modelling, painting and ironwork in 1866. John Begg started the first course on architecture in 1900. This was made a complete four year program in 1908, and the course was designed by George Wittet.

Claude Batley became a visiting professor in 1917 and was the principal of the School between 1923 and 1943. In 1996 the Claude Batley Architectural Gallery was opened in the School. The first architectural gallery in the city, it will be available free of cost to architects for exhibitions. Funding for display panels, lights, etc is awaited.

When the Design and Engraving Class were added, the premises were shifted to a Jamsetjee's old residence in the Abdul Rehman Street. In 1866, three ateliers for Decorative Painting, Modelling and Ornamental Wrought Iron Work were in existence.

It was in 1878 that it came to be housed in its own building of grey stone. The present main studios were built in 1878, wherein the full-fledged subject of Drawing was initiated in 1879. The Lord Reay Art Workshops (now the Department of Arts and Crafts) were established in a separate building in 1891. The training for Drawing Teachers was made available in 1910.

After Independence, the government found necessary to trifurcate the school in 1958 into the Sir J J School of Art, the Sir J J College of Architecture and the Sir J J Institute of Commercial Art.

The School of Art got affiliated with the Mumbai University with effect from June 1981. Since then the degree courses of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting (B F A (Painting) have been started. 1983 saw the degree courses in Sculpture being offered. From June 1988, the Degree of Master of Fine Arts (Painting) course by papers and by Research has been started in Creative Painting, Portraiture and Graphics. Department of Arts and Crafts also got elevated to university status from June 1986.