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Indian Artifacts at the Ashmolean Museum – Oxford


Naturally, I also took the opportunity to tour around the gallery containing artifacts from India. My lack of travel this year due to the global pandemic situation has finally given me the opportunity to review the photographs I took, and present them here.


The Ashmolean came into existence in 1682, when the wealthy antiquary Elias Ashmole gifted his collection to the University of Oxford. It opened just a year later in 1683, as Britain’s first public museum and the world’s first university museum. The collection has of course evolved considerably, recognizing that knowledge of humanity across cultures and time is important to society. Of course, the uncomfortable truth attached to many of the exhibits here is that much of the collection was inevitably selected and obtained as a result of colonial power.


The collection of objects from the Indian subcontinent (modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) was started in 1686, when Sir William Hedges of the East India Company presented to the newly founded museum a fine stone sculpture of Vishnu which he had obtained in Bengal. This was the first example of an Indian sculpture to enter any Western museum collection, and can be seen later in this article. Today the collection is the most comprehensive of its kind in Britain outside London.


What follows is a short virtual tour of some of the highlights from the gallery containing Indian artifacts. These are not in any particular order, but is a fair representation of what there is to see in the museum. I also recently wrote a similar article on the Indian artifacts at the British Museum, which may be of interest.


Read More at https://kevinstandagephotography.wordpress.com/2021/04/11/indian-artifacts-at-the-ashmolean-museum-oxford/

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