Family and friends remember:

Jyoti Bhatt Artist/ Art teacher
Kanak Ravel Family
Urmi Raval Family
Vikram Raval Family
Kishor Raval Family

Dr. Kanak Ravel (son), Portland OR

Ravishanakar Raval was born on the 1st of August 1892 and died on the 9th of Decemeber 1977. He was hailed as Kala-Guru of Guajarat by the great political thinker and, social commentator Kaka Kalelkar. He in his life span of 85 years, lit the fire for Art and Culture in Gujarat. Single handedly he achieved things that no institute could do. In addition to being an accomplished artist he was a journalist, a writer, an art-comentator and teacher. Government of India bestowed upon him a title of Padmashri, highest honor to an artist. His legacy lies in restablishment of love for art, the magazine 'Kumar, a magazine for tomorrow's citizens', and a number of artists who studied under him.

1st August 2003 will be his 111th birthday. On that occasion we present this peek into his Art-World as a tribute to him and his work. We thought we will put up reproductions of his paintings before they get lost in the history. All his paintings carried his signature mark R.M.R.

His friends knew him as Ravibhai, to us his children he was just our dear Bapu.

Vikram Raval (grandson-in-law), Youngstown, OH

I grew up in two different homes, one in Bhavnagar and another in Amdavad. In both homes , Bapu was talked about with utmost respect and admiration by my parents and my grandparents. Right from my childhood I knew him as some great man. When I grew-up, I became a great fan of KUMAR, just like my parents and my brothers. We eagerly awaited each month for new issue of KUMAR. We saved every and each issue and later got them bound in hard-bound volumes which are still present in our home. KUMAR was just one of many contributions of Bapu in intellectual, moral and cultural enrichment of generations of Gujaratis. Bapu was a Giant. He was a visionary. There are not enough words to fully describe who he was and his contribution to Gujarat . I hope that this new website will introduce him to our next generation and their following genarations which are growingup here as America as well as in India .

Kishor Raval (nephew), Philadelphia PA

Bapu, as we called my uncle, has steered the family away from the traditions and preconceived notions by encouraging us all to think indepenedently. Were it not for him, our family would still have been mired down in old values, customs and produced more Civil Servants.

Though he was an artist, he was excited about science, weavers of the dreams, story-tellers, thinkers, poets... He taught us to be curious and inquisitive. I am richer today because he listened, even we dissented from his views, a gift I deeply cherish and am grateful for. My only regret is I did not avail myself of his presence and learn anything about art and painting when I spent two years with him under the same roof and oh, when he would been so happy to be my Guru!

I hope I was able to convey to him that I loved him, though probably in not so many words!

Jyoti Bhatt (Artist and art teacher), Vadodara, India

It is required for the Hindus to declare their 'Kul'(ancestral roots) during the religious or wedding ceremonies. Such 'Kul's are named after their ancestors, many of whom were 'Rushi' (sages) or their likes, from the Vedic age. However, as a Gujarati artist, if I have to declare my 'Kala-Kul', then the name that I would give is that of Shri Ravishankar Raval. This can be said for many or perhaps all the artists from Gujarat. No, I do not belong to 'Raval-Gharana', in the sense that I actually studied painting under him. But two of my art teachers at the initial, school days during the 40's were, like several of their contemporaries, greatly influenced and inspired by the pioneering work that Ravibhai had started in Gujarat. I too was inspired by him -both indirectly and directly. In fact, his interest in my own work and in my growth as an artist, encouragement and blessings that I was fortunate to have from him repeatedly has contributed considerably to make me what I am today.

It was the most difficult 'Yagna'(campaign) that he had started and continued till his last breath for inspiring money minded Gujaratis to look towards arts and culture. This he did through 'Kumar', the only magazine in Gujarati that covered arts, architecture, archeology, poetry,literature, problems related to youth and women, education, mathematics,photography, science humor etc 'Kumar' has been published since 1924, and its motto printed then on the cover page of the each issue affirmed - 'Aavati Kaalna Naagarikonu Maasik' (A magazine for the citizens of tomorrow ).

Apart from the writing, editing and publishing work for 'Kumar,' Ravibhai had started a school "Gujarat Kala Sangh' at his own residence where, several of the well-known artists from Gujarat were initiated into art. He traveled and lectured, tried successfully to bring artists, writers and people from various walks of life together, and made them aware of their responsibility towards the society. His autobiographical master piece, 'Gujaratman Kalana Pagaran' has been one of my most favorite books. The details and interesting stories regarding all the topics that I have -- and many more that I have not - mentioned, are narrated very graphically in this book. And, as we would expect, it is illustrated profusely with his own drawings and paintings and also supported by many rare photographs of great documentary value.

As a fitting tribute to Ravibhai, people in Gujarat have been calling him Kala Guru (Great Art Teacher, a Maestro), like the other two of the all-time great Indians, Kalidas and Ravindranath Tagore are known as Kavi KulGuru and Guru Dev.

Urmi Raval (Granddaughter), Youngtown, OH, USA

On Pujya Bapu's 111th birthday I feel love for him the way I felt when I was growing up and I strongly feel that those we hold most dear never leave us...what he taught us is how to live life and his love will always be part of all we are..his simplicity, his sense of humor and his dignity is always in my memory...