Regional overview: Asia

Undoubtedly the major strength of the Museum’s Asian photograph collection is its Tibetan collection, which ranks as one of the most significant in the world. A major Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project in 2003–5 made some 6,000 of the Museum’s Tibetan photographs taken between 1920 and 1950 available online, alongside a wealth of documentary and interactive material. Other significant collections from the continent are those taken in Nagaland: collections by Robert Woodthorpe (1870s to 90s), J.H. Hutton (1920s), Henry Balfour (1920s), Charles Pawsey (1920s), Ursula Graham Bower (1930s and 40s), Charles Robert Stonor (1940s) and Milada Ganguli (1970s) make this one of the most significant archives from the colonial period in north-east India. Other notable collections include photographs by Henry Edward Laver along the Lower Yangtze from Shanghai (1906–8); Michael Aris in Bhutan (1960s onwards); G. Harvey in Shan State, Burma (1920s); Wilfred Thesiger in Pakistan and Afghanistan (1950s–60s); curator of the Raffles Museum Carl Gibson-Hill’s photographs of the Malay Peninsula and Singapore (1940s and 50s); and Charles Hose’s photographs from Sarawak in Borneo (1890s).

Portrait of Tsarong in Lhasa, by Frederick Spencer Chapman,  PRM 1937.1998.131.470.3.

Portrait of Tsarong in Lhasa, by Frederick Spencer Chapman, PRM 1937.1998.131.470.3.

 

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