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Archive for the ‘Anthropology’ Category

Bhaja Caves, Caves 6 & 7; 2nd c. BCE-1st c. CE; Maharashtra, India. Image and original data provided by David Efurd © David Efurd

Bhaja Caves, Caves 6 & 7; 2nd c. BCE-1st c. CE; Maharashtra, India. Image and original data provided by David Efurd © David Efurd

Professor David Efurd’s collection of nearly 10,000 photographs of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain art and architecture was recently released in the Artstor Digital Library. We were particularly impressed by the variety and complexity of the rock-cut cave temples he photographed, and he was kind enough to answer our questions.

Artstor: What is the importance of caves as the sites of some of these temples, as opposed to more typical, free-standing temples?

David Efurd: Regarding Buddhist caves, monks appear to have lived in natural caves and rock-shelters since the time of the Buddha. In fact, texts describe the Buddha as spending nights in caves at a variety of locations in northeastern India. Over time, simple shelters were enlarged by cutting away stone, and masonry walls may have been added to the front to make them more architectural.

In western India, these Buddhist sites are a bit later, perhaps dating from the second century BC at the earliest. Unlike the caves the Buddha lived in, they do not appear to be natural caves that were enlarged. Rather, they were carved deeply into outcroppings of stone or cliffs and tend to be architectonic, meaning that they resemble the interior spaces of architecture, despite being hewn into stone. Few free-standing buildings and monasteries from this period survive, so these caves provide crucial insight into a tradition of architecture that has all but disappeared. Rock-cut or cave architecture from this period draws upon both this early tradition of living in natural caves and the later monastic complexes consisting of residential buildings and places for instruction and worship. (more…)

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ARAS_logo_kArtstor and the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism have released more than 16,000 images documenting mythology, symbols, and rituals in the Digital Library.

The images in Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) explore the universality of certain iconographies and themes, illustrating commonalities in the ways human beings across the world have thought about and represented different phenomena throughout time. Each image includes commentary that points to its unique cultural history and contextualizes it within larger archetypal patterns and historical developments. The collection supports interdisciplinary research in the humanities, including the understanding of images in psychotherapy and dreams. It offers support for artists and designers to search for pictorial inspiration and for people of all ages to explore the power of symbols.

View the collection in the Artstor Digital Library.

For detailed information about this collection, visit the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism collection page in Artstor.

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Artstor and the Fowler Museum are now sharing more than 1,400 additional images of objects from the museum’s Andean ceramics collection in the Digital Library, bringing the total to more than 5,300 images.

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logo-arasArtstor is collaborating with the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism to release 17,000 images documenting mythology, symbols and rituals from different time periods and geographic locations in the Digital Library.

The images in Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) explore the universality of certain iconographies and themes, illustrating commonalities in the ways human beings across the world have thought about and represented different phenomena. Each image includes commentary that points to its unique history and contextualizes it within larger patterns and historical developments. The collection supports interdisciplinary humanities research, research on the meaning of images in psychoanalysis and dreams, and provides support for designers searching for pictorial inspiration. (more…)

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Visitors viewing display cases and Bird Dome, Hall of the Birds of the World, 1927, American Museum of Natural History, Photographer: H. S. Rice. Image and original data provided by Library, American Museum of Natural History

Visitors viewing display cases and Bird Dome, Hall of the Birds of the World, 1927, American Museum of Natural History, Photographer: H. S. Rice. Image and original data provided by Library, American Museum of Natural History

Visiting the Museum of Natural History was high on my list of priorities on my first trip to New York City. This was in big part due to its mention in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye—even if, to be honest, I didn’t quite remember the role it played in the book.

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Ray De Lucia and Matt Kalmenoff working on Killer Whale Group, Hall of Ocean Life, 1967, American Museum of Natural History, Photographer: Alex J. Rota. Image and original data provided by Library, American Museum of Natural History

Ray De Lucia and Matt Kalmenoff working on Killer Whale Group, Hall of Ocean Life, 1967, American Museum of Natural History, Photographer: Alex J. Rota. Image and original data provided by Library, American Museum of Natural History

Artstor Digital Library and the American Museum of Natural History have released 1,700 images of objects from the Museum’s Division of Anthropology and historical photographs from the Research Library’s Photo Archive.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its foundation in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition. (more…)

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Deir Mar Musa; exterior | 11th -13th century |Damascus | Photographer: James J. O'Donnell

Deir Mar Musa; exterior | 11th -13th century | Damascus | Photographer: James J. O’Donnell

Artstor and Georgetown University’s James J. O’Donnell are collaborating to share 21 images of Deir Mar Musa, a monastic compound north of Damascus, in the Digital Library.

Deir Mar Musa began as a Byzantine watchtower, served as a medieval hermitage and modern monastery, fell into disrepair and neglect, and was then brought back to life a few years ago as a monastic community and place for Christian and Muslim Syrians to meet in mutual respect. O’Donnell’s photographs document the site and its murals, which date ca. 11th-13th centuries.

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