Scope and Content Note


This record group consists primarily of general correspondence and exhibition records that document the department's activities during most of Stella Kramrisch's curatorial tenure. Correspondence is alphabetically arranged by name of individual or institution, as well as a few files identified by subjects, such as scroll painting, lectures, and projects. Institutional correspondents include museums, galleries, universities, publishers and organizations dedicated to the promotion of Asian studies. Examples of the latter include the non-profit American Council of Southern Asia Art (ACSAA) and the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), which is a consortium of universities and colleges that promotes teaching and research about India. The most extensively documented exhibition is "Manifestations of Shiva," which was mounted in 1981. The 13 linear feet of records include a subseries of general files, which are topically arranged and document issues such as budget, travel, openings, publicity, and related symposium. The many "history" files that are a subgroup to the general files appear to pertain to the initial work, research and contacts made in preparing for the exhibition. The second subseries consists of lender files, which are grouped by location, namely American, European and Indian, and within each georgraphic division, by type of lender, either private or institution. The exhibition catalogue is the third subseries, and documentation consists primarily of catalogue entries and photographs of each object, as well as research material.

Most of the material comprising the "Other subjects" series pertains to a biographical project about Kramrisch undertaken after her death by the department's curatorial and administrative assistant. There are also sets of files regarding the return of incoming loans, refused exhibition loan requests, and general research and reference material, as well as a small amount of insurance requests, Museum publications and information to certain gallery installations. One of the items in regard to the latter is also a piece of memorabilia--sheet music of the song played at the dedication of the Museum's Indian Temple in 1920. Langdon Warner, the Museum's director at that time, wrote the lyrics.

Inventories identifying file topics are available in the Archives.

Early records of the department are part of the Far Eastern Art Department Records. Departmental records generated after Kramrisch's tenure to the present are the Indian and Himalyan Art Department Records. For related documentation, see also Stella Kramrisch Personal Papers.