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Finding aid for the Harald Ingholt papers relating to Gandharan art, 1897-1985 (bulk 1954-1978)
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harald Ingholt papers relating to Gandharan art
    Date (inclusive): 1897-1985 (bulk 1954-1978)
    Number: 990054
    Creator/Collector: Ingholt, Harald, 1896-1985
    Physical Description: 5.8 linear feet (14 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The Harald Ingholt papers relating to Gandharan art document one aspect of this Near Eastern archaeologist's broad research interests. The archive contains production materials, such as a text draft and page layouts, related to Gandhāran Art in Pakistan, for which Ingholt wrote the text, as well as Inholt's related research materials on Gandharan art. These materials include hundreds of black-and-white photographs, notes, correspondence, offprints and ephemera. Further material relating to Gandharan art was added to the archive by James Michael Mahar.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Harald Ingholt (1896-1985) studied theology as an undergraduate at the University of Copenhagen, from which he also received his Dr. Phil. in archaeology in 1928 for his work on the sculpture of Palmyra. His first professional position was as an assistant curator at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (1925-1930), and for part of his tenure he served concurrently as the secretary of the Carlsbergfondet (1927-1930).
    In 1931 Ingholt took up a new teaching post in archaeology at the American University of Beirut, as well as becoming curator of the university's museum collections. When this position ended in 1937, Ingholt returned to Denmark and taught Hebrew and the Old Testament at Aarhus University from 1938 to 1941. Ingholt then moved to the United States where he had spent time as a student studying archaeology at Princeton in 1922. Ingholt joined the Yale University faculty in 1942 as a lecturer and advanced through the academic ranks until his retirement as a Professor in 1964, holding positions in Classics, Biblical Exegesis and Archaeology.
    Ingholt's curatorial activities also continued at Yale. In 1954, he was involved with the Yale University Art Gallery exhibition, Palmyrene and Gandharan Sculpture. Ingholt appears to have been led east into the realm of Gandharan art through the element of Parthian influence, his previous research and publications having traced this element in the sculpture of Palmyra and Hatra. Shortly after this exhibition Ingholt was approached to write the text accompanying a group of photographs by Islay Lyons, the project which became Gandhāran Art in Pakistan. Although the book represents Ingholt's main contribution to the study of Gandharan art, he appears to have continued researching the topic after its publication.
    In addition to his curatorial and teaching duties, Ingholt excavated at sites in the Near East including Palmyra (1924, 1925, 1928) and at Hama (1932-1938) where he led the Danish excavations. As well as producing his own numerous publications, Ingholt took an active editorial role in his field. He founded the journal Berytus: Archaeological Studies in 1934, and in the early 1970s oversaw Yale's publication of the excavations at Dura Europas.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Harald Ingholt papers relating to Gandharan art, 1897-1985 (bulk 1954-1978), The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, accession no. 990054

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of James Michael Mahar. Acquired by the Getty Research Institute in 1999. In 1979 the University of Arizona acquired the library of Harold Ingholt. After the books were cataloged, this small body of archival material was determined by the acquisitions librarian to be out of scope and passed on to Professor Mahar in the Near Eastern Studies Department.

    Processing History

    This collection was initially processed and cataloged by Milena Golshan in 2012 under the supervision of Ann Harrison. In 2013, information received from the donor led to a substantial revision of the finding aid.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Harald Ingholt papers relating to Gandharan art document one aspect of this Near Eastern archaeologist's broad research interests. Taking its name from the ancient region of Gandhara, which encompassed parts of what are today Pakistan and Afghanistan, Gandharan art is best known for its stone sculptures which blend Buddhist themes with Classical stylistic elements. Alexander the Great's occupation of this area in the fourth century B.C. was brief, but it introduced a strain of Classical culture which hung on tenaciously. Reinforced first by a series of rulers who were culturally influenced by the west and then by the area's location on a thriving trade route, this Mediterranean artistic strain survived as an undercurrent for centuries, before re-emerging strongly in Gandharan art of the Kushan Empire during the first to third centuries A.D.
    Publication materials for Gandhāran art in Pakistan form the first series of the archive. Included here are a draft of the text and various phases of plate production for the project, which joined Ingholt's text to photographs by Islay Lyons. Series II is comprised of Ingholt's general research materials on Gandharan art, primarily Gandharan sculpture. The bulk of the material is photographic, with limited additions of notes, letters received, offprints and ephemera.
    A small portion of the material in this archive did not originate with Ingholt, but with James Michael Mahar, who held the archive from circa 1980 to 2009. Most of this material can be clearly identified as Mahar's and forms Series III. Although it ranges from notes taken in a graduate school class in Eastern art to more recent ephemera, the bulk of the Mahar material relates to The Meeting of East and West -- An Exhibition of Gandharan Buddhist Art, held at the University of Arizona in 1977. There is also, however, a scattering of material incorporated into the first two series, which may have been added by Mahar. These materials, such as the summary of the production materials in Series I, are distinctive because they are not in Ingholt's handwriting.


    The papers are arranged in three series: Series I. Gandhāran Art in Pakistan production materials, circa 1954-1959; Series II. Research materials on Gandharan art, 1897-1978, undated; Series III. James Michael Mahar papers, 1953-1985, undated.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Topics

    Art, Gandhara
    Buddhist art--Gandhara (Pakistan and Afghanistan)
    Sculpture, Gandhara

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints


    Mahar, James Michael