The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art contains nearly 300,000 original slides and photographs – photographic documentation of art and architecture throughout Asia. Countries covered in the collection include India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), China, and Japan. The documentation covers in situ works of art and architecture ranging from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, as well as pieces found in most major Asian, European, and American museums. This broad, yet detailed collection contains predominantly Buddhist material, but also includes Hindu, Jain, and Islamic works as well. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, The Huntington Archive includes the largest photographic archive of Nepali art and architecture in the world and represents the only formal collection that photographically records the country's artistic heritage.
A Brief History
The Huntington Archive represents the efforts of forty years of field documentation photography by John and Susan Huntington, professors of Asian Art History at The Ohio State University. In 1986, the Huntingtons decided to formally expand their photographic collection beyond the countries central to their personal research to include other major countries in Asia that had not yet been documented. When the move from a personal resource materials archive to a pan-Asian documentation project was made, the Huntingtons and the History of Art Department decided to create an institutional archive that could be used for scholarly research and classroom teaching.
The Huntington Archive accepts donations of photographic collections of Asian art. The Archive also collaborates with scholars to preserve their personal collections and make them publicly available for research and teaching. If you are aware of photographic collections that need a home now or in the future, please contact us.
Susan L. Huntington
Susan L. Huntington, Ph.D., is Distinguished University Professor and Professor of History of Art, Emerita, but continues to teach and advise graduate students at The Ohio State University. Her research area is South Asian art, with emphasis on Buddhist art; her teaching ranges from ancient to modern South Asia and the Himalayas. Her main publications include The Art of Ancient India, Leaves from the Bodhi Tree, and The Pala-Sena Schools of Sculpture.
Separately, and with her husband John C. Huntington, Susan has done extensive field research and photographic documentation throughout Asia. Susan served as Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at The Ohio State University from 1995 to 2005.
John C. Huntington
John C. Huntington has dedicated the past 45 years to the study of Buddhist art in all of its forms. His primary interests are the communication values of the various art forms, how the arts set the environment of attainment for the practitioner, and the practice methodologies that involve art as part of rituals and the like. He has taught at the Ohio State University since fall of 1970 and during his time there has helped build a flourishing program in Asian art history that currently has approximately twelve graduate students and about fifteen undergraduates. He also teaches in East Asian Studies programs where he oversees additional graduate students in the M.A. program in East Asian Studies. He continues to teach and publish with no plan of immediate retirement.
John Huntington is also both the principal photographer for and the Co-founding Director (with Susan L. Huntington) of the Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art at the Ohio State University. The archive has made available nearly two hundred thousand photographs and other resources to scholars and the interested public of Buddhist art from many areas of Asia.
Ankur Desai is currently working to digitize thousands of film and slide photographs from The Huntington collection as well as keeping track of image and publication inventory. He is also pursuing a PhD in South Asian temple architecture and religious practice.
Gregory Shonk is currently in charge of overseeing the daily operations of The Archive as well as helping to select and implement a new database solution to accommodate the expansion of The Huntington Archive's Digital Database Collection. He is also currently in charge of handling image requests and other requests and inquiries made to The Huntington Archive.
Kyle Mullins is currently working on the huntington archive website to create the best user experience for our visitors. He is currently updating the site and working on providing our visitors access to documentary fill recordings in the Huntington collection. He is also pursuing a degree in Web Development and Information Technology.