Kolhapur has always been a hub of art, culture, bravery and great personalities throughout the history. It has produced many great personalities like the famous King Shahu Maharaj who has been known as a social reformist and patron of art and progress in the princely state of Kolhapur since pre-independence Era.
Kolhapur is graced by many historical monuments and lush green blanket of nature. It has produced many great artists and continues to nurture the best talent in the fields of music, drama, dance and fine art. Many artists have gained national & international reputation: Abalal Rehman, Baburao Painter, B.D Shirgaonkar, Ravindra mistri, and Dattoba Dalvi to name a few.
Yet, many of extremely talented and young artists still find it difficult to make their art available on global scale due to geographical hurdles. Hence Ratnakar art gallery was established to unveil the extraordinary artworks of these buried talented artists to the eyes of the world. The nature has blessed these artists by giving them access to surrealistic landscapes and has showered all its colors in their every possible shade on them. The rural architecture and life style of this region has great influence on these artists. This buried treasure of Kolhapur is waiting to be discovered by the connoisseurs like you. There paintings and artworks are not only ready to treat to your eyes, but also to energize and soothe your heart and soul.
The family of Ratnakar’s has long history of serving and nurturing art and artists in the region of Kolhapur. Two brothers, Mr. Ramchandra Ganpatrao Shah and Mr. Bhausaheb Ganpatrao Shah contributed to this when they started a small shop in the year of 1954 which provided books, school stationery and art materials. Their insight and motivation helped produce many great artists. Ramchandra’s son, Mr. Ramesh Ramchandra Shah, a science graduate and a Law degree holder, chose to diversify this business by starting a notebook manufacturing business “Ratnakar Paper Industries” with a goal to provide notebooks at affordable prices to the students of this region. Since then Ratnakar Paper Industries has been providing a great service in the field of education. Mr. Nilesh Ramesh Shah, a diploma holder in Industrial electronics and Business Management, a zealous young entrepreneur, decided to further this tradition of his grandfather by providing world class art materials, colors, papers and media to the artists of Kolhapur so that they can expand and enhance their expressions of art. Since then “Ratnakar Arts” has produced their own brand of brushes and papers for clients with tight budget. Today one can find every kind of media, materials and colors possible in the “Ratnakar’s” art emporium. Ratnakars have continued to serve Kolhapur students & artists for three generations and have strived to meet their needs at very affordable prices.
In 2007 Mr. Nilesh Shah saw the need for an art gallery in Kolhapur. He noticed that the local artists had to travel to Mumbai or Delhi and pay high prices to promote and exhibit their art. The artists needed to invest time, money and energy which was not practical for many of the artists. Mr. Nilesh Shah saw the need to support these artists and help them in displaying and promoting their talent at affordable prices; Hence, he took an initiative in developing a regional market for artworks and paintings. So the family invested their time, energy and skills and in October 2007 “Ratnakar Art Gallery” was created. This gallery provides exhibition space to artists at very reasonable rates and has succeeded in breathing a new life in the field of art in Kolhapur region. It now boasts a big list of patrons who include collectors & individual and commercial buyers.
Ratnakar Art Gallery has also kept pace with the changing world. A website was created in June 2008 to provide a glimpse of this stunning art to the global market. The website proudly displays artworks of around 35 eminent and talented artists and presents around 500 pieces. We have plans to grow and look forward to extending this opportunity to more artists, but also promise to do so with careful scrutiny and selection.
Ratnakar Art Gallery wishes you a beautiful and colorful journey in this search of art.