Ismail Gulgee was born in Peshawar in the year 1926. He pursued civil engineering from Aligarh University and later from Harvard University. While in America he started to paint and trained himself over a period of time, he held his first exhibition in 1950. A revered portraitist and abstract artist he has painted the Afghan royal family and the Saudi royal family. Admission to a museum erected to house his works is issued on invitation only; the Gulgee museum is located in Karachi. His abstract paintings display influence of Islamic calligraphy while his mixed-media paintings incorporate mirror glass or gold leaf among brightly coloured designs in oil paint. He has exhibited his creations all over the world and has been felicitated in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan and France for his art.
The artist passed away in the year 2007 ;