Born in 1887, Sukumar Ray was the father of the famous Indian film director, Satyajit Ray. Sukumar's father, Upendrakisore, had set up his own printing press in his house in Calcutta and wrote a number of articles on printing for the British printing journal, The Penrose Annual, from 1897 to 1912.
Sukumar Ray arrived in England in the autumn of 1911 and initially lodged with the Northbrook Society at 21 Cromwell Road. He studied printing at the London School of Photo Engraving and Lithography in Bolt Street, run by London County Council, and then went to Manchester and studied at the Manchester School of Technology. In Manchester, he wrote letters to his parents from 12 Thorncliffe Grove and then 65 Ducie Grove. Ray was present in London when Rabindranath Tagore visited the city in 1912; Tagore was a friend of his father's in Calcutta. He often visited the house of Dr and Mrs P. K. Ray in London to eat Indian food and meet other Indians in London. At P. K. Ray's house, Sukumar Ray met K. G. Gupta and later married his niece.
Ray met E. B. Havell in London, whom he had known as Principal of the Calcutta School of Art, and visited Rothenstein's house. Rothenstein suggested to Ray that he make colour reproductions of the Ajanta caves and Indian architecture, influenced by his preoccupations with the India Society. Ray was good friends with Rathindranath, the son of Rabindranath Tagore.
Sukumar Ray was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1922. He was famous for his humourous 'literary nonsense' and was also a story-writer and illustrator.