Born in 1934 in Valod, Surat District, Gujarat, Haku Shah did his Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. He is a well-known figurative painter of the Baroda School and an authority on folk and tribal art. Cultural roots of the family and the prevailing social, spiritual environment around were sources of major influences on Shah's life and art. He was also invited by Stella Kramrisch to assist her in presenting the exhibition 'Ritual Art in Tribe and Village - Art of Unknown India' in the United States. The exhibition acted as window for the people in the US to peep into the fascinating world of traditional Indian art and craft. He carried with him wonderful figurines of clay for the exhibition, many of which form a part of Kramrisch's legacy to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Shah later set up a Folk Art Museum in Ahmedabad, and has also conceived and designed a multi art and crafts complex at Udaipur called Shilpgram. He is the curator of the Museum for Tribal Cultures at the Gujarat Vidhyapeth (University) and a consultant of the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. He has also been associated with the Museum of Mankind, London; the Tropical Museum, Amsterdam; and the Mingi International Museum of World Folk Art in San Diego, California. He has received several awards including the Padma Shri (1989), the Nehru Fellowship and the Kala Ratna for his contribution to art. He lives and works in Ahmedabad.