Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore founded the first dance school called as “”Kala Bhawan”” and established the “”Barahamacharya Ashram””, the core of Vishwa Bharati University of Shantiniketan, near Bolpur. Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts) is a noted institution of education and research in visual arts, founded in 1919, it is the fine arts faculty of the Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan, established by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Upon its establishment in 1919, Tagore invited noted painter Nandalal Bose, and disciple of Abanindranath Tagore, the founder of Bengal school of art movement, to become first principal of the institution. In the coming years stalwarts like Benode Behari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij became associated with college, and in time gave a new direction not just to the institution but also to the modern Indian painting.

The college also has an art museum exhibiting sculptures, frescoes and murals and a library of art books. Present head of the institution is art historian and curator, R. Siva Kumar, who has been in the art history faculty since 1981.

In 2011, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Rabindra Chitravali was released, the four-volume set covered masters’ painting oeuvre consisting of 1,600 paintings, from Rabindra Bhavan (another institution of the university) and Kala Bhavan collection, along with 200 paintings from other institutions across India.

Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861-August 7, 1941) was a Bengali poet of India. His name is written as Rabindranath Thakur in Indian languages. He was also a philosopher and an artist. He wrote many stories, novels and dramas, as well as composing music and many songs. His writings greatly influenced Bengali culture during the late 19th century and early 20th century. In 1913, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Asian to win this prize. He was popularly known as Gurudev. His real name was Robindranath Thakur.

Tagore was born in the city of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), at No. 6 Dwarkanath Tagore Lane, Jorasanko Thakur Bari. Tagore was a Bengali Brahmin by birth. He wrote his first poem when he was only eight years old. He published his first large poetry collection in 1877. He wrote his first short story and dramas when he was only 16 years of age.

Tagore’s major works included Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World); and many other literary and art works. He was also a cultural reformer, and modernized Bangla art by rejecting the rigidity of form and style.

Even after many decades of his death, Tagore’s legacy continues in many ways. People hold many festivals in his honor in many parts of the world. Examples include:

The annual Bengali festival/celebration of Kabipranam – Tagore’s birthday anniversary – held in Urbana, Illinois in the United States.
The Rabindra Path Parikrama walking pilgrimages leading from Calcutta to Shantiniketan, and ceremonial recitals of Tagore’s poetry held on important anniversaries.
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who is also a Bengali, once noted that even for modern Bengalis, Tagore was a “towering figure”, being a “deeply relevant and many-sided contemporary thinker”.

Tagore’s collected 1939 Bangla-language writings (Rabīndra Racanāvalī) are one of Bengal’s greatest cultural treasures, while Tagore himself has been proclaimed “the greatest poet India has produced”.

He was also famed throughout much of Europe, North America, and East Asia. Translations of his works are available in many languages of the world, including Russian, English, Dutch, German, Spanish, and many others. In the United States, Tagore gave many lectures during 1916 and 1917. Many people attended those lectures.

Between 1914 and 1922, the Jiménez-Camprubí spouses translated at least twenty-two of Tagore’s books from English into Spanish. These Spanish translations influenced many leading figures of Spanish literature. Some of them are Chile Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral of Chile; Mexico Octavio Paz of Mexico; and José Ortega y Gasset, Zenobia Camprubí, and Juan Ramón Jiménez of Spain

Various composers, including classical composer Arthur Shepherd’s, have set Tagore’s poetry to music.

12-December-1721         Balaji Bajirao (Nanasaheb Peshwa), third Peshwa, was born.

12-December-1872          Balkrishna Shivram Munje, freedom fighting leader and president of Hindu Mahasabha, was born.