Indian and Himalyan Art, which continues to define the purview of the department, became the official designation of the curatorial office in 1995. In earlier years, the office operated under the divisions of "Eastern Art" and "Oriental Art," becoming a separate "Indian Art" office in 1972.
The impetus for the growth and redefining of the department was largely due to Stella Kramrisch, who joined the Museum as its Indian art curator in 1954. Kramrisch died in 1993, bequesting her personal art collection to the Museum, and endowing the curatorial chair of the department to which she had devoted nearly 40 years of scholarship and service. In 1997 Darielle Mason joined the Museum as its first Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art, a position she continues to hold. Katherine Paul served as Associate Curator from 2003 to 2008. Joining the staff in 2009, Yael Rice now holds that position.