Storied Stone

Reframing the Philadelphia Museum of Art's South Indian Temple Hall

Darielle Mason; With contributions by Crispin Branfoot, Eleanor B. H. Coates and Susan Pepper Treadway, Anna Lise Seastrand, and Archana Venkatesan

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Storied Stone weaves together memories and scholarship to illuminate the multilayered history of the sole example of historical Indian stone temple architecture publicly displayed outside the subcontinent. While visiting Madurai, Tamil Nadu, in 1913, the Philadelphian Adeline Pepper Gibson purchased more than 60 huge granite carvings. Given in 1919 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, these architectural elements were arranged to form a temple hall (mandapam) in the museum’s original building in 1920. The installation was reconfigured in 1940 in the museum’s current building and reimagined in 2016. The tale that unfolds—part detective story, part museum history, part case study—explores a century of debate about exhibition, authenticity, and interpretation within the museum, brought to life by striking new photography and never-before-published archival images. Offering fresh insights into the original context and meaning of the carvings, this volume also highlights the complexities of presenting the work in, and for, the twenty-first century.

Darielle Mason is the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art and head of the Department of South Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

ISBN: 9780876332412
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art
248 pages, 8 x 10 1/2
150 color + b/w illus.
Drawn from Courtly India

The Conley Harris and Howard Truelove Collection

Ainsley M. Cameron; With an essay by Darielle Mason

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Phulkari

The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Edited by Darielle Mason; With essays by Cristin McKnight S

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