Arthur Llewellyn Basham
The 'Wonders' that Basham Saw
This archive of images was put together by the late Professor A. L. Basham (1914-1986) during his tenure as professor and head of the department of Oriental (later Asian) civilizations at ANU (1965-1979). He helped set up the Faculty of Oriental (later Asian) Studies at ANU and played a pioneering role in teaching and research in this area. His book The Wonder that Was India (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1954) became a signal study in the field. Basham undertook extensive fieldwork in India and studied several classical Indian languages.
Upon his retirement, the erstwhile Department of Art History at ANU inherited his extensive collection of 35-mm slides, each slide accompanied by an index card with Basham’s typewritten (and sometimes handwritten) notes on the image. As the archive reveals, Basham had a deep interest in art and visual culture as an essential aspect of historical study, and was an accomplished photographer. These images represent an important ingredient in the historiography of ‘classical’ civilization in Asia, variously carried out by scholars working within and outside the region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Over 2018-19, the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at the ANU School of Art and Design has worked with ANU Archives to digitise and analyse Basham's visual archive. Sharing Basham’s images with the general public and with fellow researchers globally has been an important aim of the project. ANU researchers are now working with colleagues at the National Gallery of Australia, National University of Singapore and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, to continue research of the significance of the 'wonders' that Basham saw, many of which are now in rather different circumstances than they were when Basham photographed them.
For inquiries or to give feedback contact Dr Chaitanya Sambrani, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Art History and Art Theory at Chaitanya.Sambrani@anu.edu.au
Collection's Items (Sorted by Submit Date in Descending order): 1 to 20 of 5168