The College of Art & Design was started as the Department of Fine Arts in 1940. Anna Molka Ahmad was its pioneer, mentor and the guiding spirit for three decades. At that time she was a young graduate from Royal College of Art, London, who had migrated to Pakistan
After her retirement she was honoured as Professor Emeritus, and she taught and guided the department until her death in 1994. The department continued on the path that she had set and in
1998, it was given the status of an Institute, offering MFA in Graphic Design, Book Illustration, Print-Making (Graphic Arts) and Painting, along with an MA in Painting. In 2003 a Doctoral programme was started and in March 2004 the Institute of Art & Design was raised to the level of a College.
This was made possible by the leadership and vision of Lt. General (Retd.) Arshad Mahmood, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University and Lt. General (Retd.) Khalid Maqbool, the former Chancellor of the Punjab University. The College plans to have six independent departments, each offering three degree programmes.