The Imphal Art College was established in 1949, on 15th August as an Art school and was upgraded to the status of Art College in 1959, having Bachelor of Fine Art course. It was the only college of its kind in the North Eastern States of India and also the oldest college contemporary to Dhanamanjuri College (D.M.College). Later on various Government full fledged Art Colleges and Institutions were established in the North Eastern States of India, for instance, in Guwahati, Silchar, Agartala etc.
The College was established by the founder Principal late Hanjabam Shaymo Sharma under the Chairmanship of late Maharajkumar Priyabrata Singh the first Chief Minister of Manipur with a few members of the General Body of the College.
At present the college is regularly producing fine art Graduates such as Bachelor of Fine Art under Manipur University.
Besides the normal courses the college also introduced a course known as Art Teacher’s Training Course for a period of one year deputed by Education Department (S), of respective State Government.
The college has been registered under the societies Registration Act,XXI of 1860, vide registration No. 67 of 1962 and it has also been granted permanent affiliation to Manipur University vide letter No. MU/2-1/2003/CDC, Resolution No.24/177/21-12-2002, dated 04/01/2003 after preliminary affiliation given in 1993-1994.
The University Grants Commission, New Delhi, Government of India has given recognition to the college as an Art Institution similar to other Art Institutions in India by their letter vide No.F/8 -198/2003 (CPP -1), dated 12th February 2004 under the category of UGC under Section No.2(F) 12 (B) of UGC Act 1956. This college is entitled to receive Grants from the Commission.
Broadly, this college produces Art Graduate in 4 different subjects i,e., Painting, Sculpture, Applied Art & Graphics. And, the College has various regular annual features such as Annual Art Exhibition, visiting lecturers’ programme, one day internal and external study tour for the period of 1 to 10 days
Since beginning the college has been offering ample opportunities for employment in state as well as central Govemment services as Draftsman, Art Designer, Art teacher, Model/er, Graphics Artist etc. And, even employed themselves by opening private agencies or becoming freelance artists.