Stella Kramrisch, Indian-Art Expert And Professor, 97
New York Times - September 2, 1993
Stella Kramrisch, an authority on Indian art, a teacher and a curator, died on Tuesday at her home in Philadelphia. She was 97 and lived near Philadelphia.
Born in Mikulov, Austria, on May 29, 1896, Professor Kramrisch earned a doctorate of philosophy in Vienna in 1919. When she became the first professor of Indian art at the University of Calcutta in 1923 and published "Principles of Indian Art" in 1924, Professor Kramrisch laid the foundations for the systematic study of Indian art.
She personified that systematic study in the series of books that followed: "Indian Sculpture" (1932), "A Survey of Painting in the Deccan" (1937), "Indian Terracottas" (1939), "The Hindu Temple" (1946) and "Arts and Crafts of Travancore" (1948).
From 1932 to 1950 the professor co-edited the Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art. From 1937 to 1941 she lectured on Indian art at the Courtauld Institute in London. In 1950 she moved to the United States, where she was both professor of South Asian art at the University of Pennsylvania, and curator of Indian art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1964 she was appointed professor of Indian art at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Apart from teaching and writing, she was highly regarded as an exhibition organizer. Examples of her skill were "The Art of Nepal and Tibet" (1960), "Unknown India: Ritual Art in Tribe and Village" (1968) and "Himalayan Art 700-1900" (1978), all at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
She produced a show, "Manifestations of Siva," for the Philadelphia Museum in 1981. The professor's last exhibition was "Painted Delight," a show of Mogul paintings, also at the Philadelphia, in 1986.