Zubeida Agha Archive

The Zubeida Agha Archive includes a selection of published texts, catalogues, administrative documents, clippings, and miscellaneous ephemera surrounding the legacy of the Pakistan modern artist Zubeida Agha (1922-97). The materials, taken exclusively from her Islamabad studio and residence, sheds light on Agha’s work as a patron and founding member of Pakistani art institutions, and provide insights into the foundational years of the country’s art scene.

Born in Lyallpur (present-day Faisalabad) in 1922, Agha belonged to the first generation of modern painters in Pakistan. She was instrumental in founding and running Art Galleries, Society of Contemporary Art, considered to be the first art gallery in the country, which became a hub for promoting emerging and established artists across East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) and West Pakistan. Later she helped set up Pakistan’s National Art Gallery, which finally opened in 2007 — ten years after her death at the age of seventy-five.

The archive explores four areas in Agha’s career: the formation of the early fine art societies; the establishment of Art Galleries, Society of Contemporary Art; the inception of the National Art Gallery; and an introduction to Zubeida Agha’s own practice as a painter.

This research project was made possible through the Lahore Biennale Foundation Research Fellowship Award that was granted to Saira Ansari in its inaugural cycle. The digitisation of the material was done with the support of The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (Pakistan), in conjunction with Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong). The project was supervised by Ifikhar Dadi (Associate Professor, Department of History of Art, Cornell University).

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For each of these collection items, we applied a description to facilitate ease in search and access. Every item has a title, access level, rights statement, description and the folder and path within the archive structure. This includes the URL to the webpage and URL to the items with online access. The metadata is predominantly in English, with some supplementary title and descriptive information in other languages.

This information has been exported from the database as Excel, XML, and JSON files.  

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This information is made available for research use at the user’s own risk under the guidelines of CC0 and our Terms and Conditions.

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Items Under Copyright or Other Restrictions

While the data sets are freely available for use under CC0, each collection item described within has its own rights statement with specific restrictions on rights and reproductions.

Please respect the copyright of each item. If you wish to use any item beyond what is permitted in the rights statement please contact the Collections team.

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Relevant content

Zubeida Agha with Other Artists (Set of 2 Photographs)
Zubeida Agha Archive

Zubeida Agha Archive