Afghanistan Archaeological Remains Photograph Collection, 1968-1971
Using These Materials
- This collection is open for research by appointment only. Collection materials may not be reproduced without the permission of the Head of the Visual Resources Collections and according to...
- Vasant, Dr. Suresh, 1934-2012.
- The Afghanistan Archaeological Remains Photograph collection contains photographs, postcards, drawings, and pages of text for an exhibition about Dr. Richard Edward’s Bamiyan photographs of 1968. Most photographs depict archaeological remains from the Begram and Hadda regions of Afghanistan, along with photographs of artifacts from the Kabul Museum. The objects represented in these photographs include sculptures of animals, people, and religious or mythological figures, as well as architectural fragments, medallions, and pottery vessels, made from materials such as glass, stucco, ivory, bronze, schist, and limestone. The Afghanistan Archaeological Remains Photograph collection is part of the Islamic Art Archives collection.
- Over 1250 Photographs
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Molly McGuire and Erin Platte, July 2011 and February 2014
- Scope and Content:
The Afghanistan Archaeological Remains Photograph collection is composed of approximately 1250 photographs, depicting Afghanistan sculptures, statues, figural reliefs, pottery, and other archaeological remains, the majority of which are from the Kabul Museum in Afghanistan. The photographs were largely taken by Dr. Suresh Vasant while other photographers included Dr. Richard Edrwards, Dr. Walter Spink, Dr. John M. Rosenfield, and Horst P. Schastok. Dr. Richard Edwards took his photographs of Bamiyan in 1968, while the others were likely taken by Dr. Suresh Vasant in 1971. There are approximately 64 photographs and 23 postcards from other institutions. Archaeological remains from the Hadda and Begram regions of Afghanistan comprise the majority of the collection, although there are many photographs of the Bamiyan (approx. 119 photographs) and Fauladi (25 photographs) regions, and of objects from the regions Mundigak (approx. 34 photographs), Fondukistan (approx. 23 photographs) and Surkh Kotal (approx. 38 photographs). The photographs highlight objects made of stucco, terracotta, glass, ivory, stone, and schist, and include sculptures of animals, people, and religious or mythological figures, as well as architectural fragments, medallions, and pottery vessels. General views of archaeological sites such as Bamiyan and Fauladi are also depicted in the photographs.The Afghanistan Archaeological Remains Photograph collection is part of the Islamic Art Archives collection.
- Biographical / Historical:
Bamiyan, Afghanistan, which is also written as Bamyan and Bamian, is located in central Afghanistan, 240 km northwest of Kabul. The cave temples at Bamiyan are situated in the valley between the Hindu Kush and the Koh-i-Baba ranges. In the early centuries CE, Bamiyan was a hub of trade between China and India, and an important spiritual center. The site of early oil paintings, cave paintings, and monumental Buddha statues, Bamiyan is known for its Buddhist art. The two Buddha statues, constructed in the style of Gandhara art, were built in 507 and 554 CE. Carved out of the sandstone cliff, the sculptures stood 53 and 35 meters tall. The colossal statues were 5/8ths of a mile apart; located between them were complexes of cave chapels and monasteries containing wall paintings. The giant Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban regime in 2001.
The National Museum of Afghanistan, or the Kabul Museum, began as a “Cabinet of Curiosities” in 1919. The collection was later moved to its current site in the Municipality of King Amanullah Khan in 1931. Housing artifacts from Buddhist, Hellenistic, Islamic, and Prehistoric archaeological sites, the Kabul Museum had approximately 100,000 objects on display in 1979, the year of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. By the mid-1990s, approximately 70% of the collection had been destroyed or looted. When the museum was bombed in 1993, much of the Islamic collection housed on the second floor was destroyed. In early March 2001, numerous pieces that had survived the destruction and looting of the mid-1990s fell victim to the Taliban’s campaign to destroy all pre-Islamic artifacts. After refurbishing the building, the Museum was re-inaugurated on September 29, 2004. Many objects that had been hidden away for their protection were recovered from vaults in Kabul and Switzerland.
Biographies of Photographers
Dr. Suresh Vasant Jadhav was born in Sawantwadi, India, on September 13, 1934. He began his career as a helper in the photography section of the Minerva Movietone Studio in Mumbai. He worked there for ten years before in 1952 he became part of the photo section of the Archaeological Circle of India, Western Circle, Pune. His work was highly valued and in 1964 he became acquainted with Dr. Walter Spink, a professor at the University of Michigan. This relationship was to be instrumental in Dr. Jadhav's life. After seeing Jadhav's work, Spink appointed Suresh Vasant Jadhav to the Ajanta Project. Between 1964 and 1995 Dr. Jadhav worked as a research associate for the Asian Art Archive at the University of Michigan. After encouragement from Spink and others, Suresh Vasant pursued his B.A. in history and subsequently his M.A. in Archaeology at the University of Pune. Later he received his Ph.D. for his thesis on 'The Rock-cut Caves at Junnar-An Integrated Study." Jadhav traveled widely and photographed numerous excavations. Between 1986 and 1987 he was a Visiting Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of Michigan's Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies and in 1987 he was a visiting professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. Dr. Suresh Vasant Jadhav passed away on March 10, 2012.
Dr. Walter M. Spink (b. February 16, 1928) is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at the University of Michigan, where he taught courses on Indian art. Spink is known as the authority on the Buddhist rock-cut cave monasteries near Ajanta, and he organized a seminar that brought students to explore the caves. He graduated from Amherst College in 1949 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1954. He served as the Director of the Asian Art Archives at the University of Michigan from 1962 to 1996. He became Professor Emeritus in 2000.
Dr. John Max Rosenfield (October 9, 1924-December 6, 2013) is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Harvard University, where he specialized in Japanese art. After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1959, he taught at Harvard from 1960-1991, serving as the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of East Asian Art from 1971-1991 and the Curator of Asian Art at the Fogg Art Museum from 1976-1991.
Dr. Richard Edwards is Professor Emeritus of Far Eastern Art at the University of Michigan, where he taught from 1960-1987. He graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in 1939, and completed his doctorate in the History of Art at Harvard University in 1953. Upon graduation, he taught at Boston University, Brandeis University and Washington University before being appointed as Professor of Far Eastern Art at the University of Michigan.
- Acquisition Information:
The collection is arranged in the following series and sub-series:
- Series I: Bamiyan
- Series II: Begram
- Sub-series I: Glass
- Sub-series II: Ivory
- Sub-series III: Metal
- Sub-series IV: Plaster
- Sub-series V: Schist
- Series III: Fauladi
- Series IV: Fondukistan
- Sub-series I: Clay
- Sub-series II: Stucco
- Series V: Gardez
- Series VI: Hadda
- Sub-series I: Clay
- Sub-series II: Schist
- Sub-series III: Stone
- Sub-series IV: Stucco
- Sub-series V: Unknown materials
- Series VII: Jalalabad
- Series VIII: Kabul
- Series IX: Kakrak
- Series X: Kandahar
- Series XI: Khair Khana
- Series XII: Kundunz
- Series XIII: Mundigak
- Sub-series I: Pottery
- Sub-series II: Stone
- Sub-series III: Terracotta
- Series XIV: Paitawa
- Series XV: Saray Khwaja
- Series XVI: Surkh Kotal
- Series XVII: Tagao
- Sub-series I: Marble
- Sub-series II: Stone
- Series XVIII: Unknown Locale
- Sub-series I: Schist
- Sub-series II: Stucco
- Additional Descriptive Data:
These collections are also part of The Islamic Art Archive Collection
- The Mehmet Ağa-Oğlu Collection
- The Arthur Upham Pope Collection
- The Donald Newton Wilber Collection
- The Oleg Grabar Collection
- The Marianna Shreve Simpson Collection
Afghanistan Online: Kabul Museum. (n.d.).Afghanistan Online. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
Brereton, B. (2000). The Life and Times of Walter Spink. Ars Orientalis, 30, 1-5.
"Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (Getty Research Institute)." Bamiyan (general region). The J. Paul Getty Trust, n.d. Web. 28 June 2011.
Harrell, S. (2011, March 29). "Emeritus Professor Richard Edwards publishes “The Heart of Ma Yuan: The Search for a Southern Song Aesthetic.” College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art. (n.d.). The Ohio State University . Retrieved May 12, 2011.
Lawson, A. (2011, March 1). BBC News - Afghan gold: How the country's heritage was saved. BBC - Homepage. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
Lost, Stolen, and Damaged Images: Works from the Kabul Museum. (n.d.). The Huntington Archive. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
Lost, Stolen, and Damaged Images: Bamiyan. (n.d.). The Huntington Archive. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
Meharry, J. (2010, August 30). The National Museum of Afghanistan: In Times of War. Levantine Cultural Center, Arts & Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
Rowland, B., Rice, F. Mortimer. (1971). Art in Afghanistan: objects from the Kabul Museum. Coral Gables, Fla.: University of Miami Press.
Spink, W. (1995). Richard Edwards. Ars Orientalis, 25(Chinese Painting), vii-viii+ii . Retrieved July 7, 2011.
Spink, W. M. (n.d.). WalterSpink.com. WalterSpink.com. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Silver gelatin prints.
Rosenfield, John M., 1924-2013.
Spink, Walter, 1928-
Ātishkadah-i Surkh Kutal Site (Afghanistan)
Kapisa (Extinct city)
Using These Materials
This collection is open for research by appointment only. Collection materials may not be reproduced without the permission of the Head of the Visual Resources Collections and according to department and collection policies.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Most of the collection is copyrighted to the University of Michigan Art Archives. Approximately 46 photographs are copyrighted to Dr. John M. Rosenfield, and approximately 7 photographs are copyrighted to Horst P. Schastok.
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Afghanistan Archaeological Remains Photograph Collection, Visual Resources Collections, Department of the History of Art, College of Literature, Science & the Arts, The University of Michigan