Photographs depicting indigenous peoples, antiquities, implements, textile types, and scenery in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and other areas of northeastern India. Represented photographers include Elizabeth Bayley Willis, Verrier Elwin, Panna Pal, R. Pyngrope, and other photographers.
Elizabeth Bayley Willis (1902-2003) was a scholar of textiles and decorative arts who was affliliated with several museums and galleries including the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Henry Gallery of the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1952, she was appointed to the United Nations Technical Assistance Board, where she focused on marketing of textile and other decorative art products from India to improve economic development; she later worked on similar missions for the UN in Vietnam, Formosa, and Morocco. Willis went to India to consult the Uttar Pradesh government about the development and preservation of crafts and served as an advisor to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Textile Commissioner, and the All India Handloom Board. Between 1957 and 1965, Willis returned to India several times to collect textiles and continue her research on the tribal arts of northeastern India and Bhutan.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 79-11
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional photographs collected by Willis can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 97.
Willis also donated artifacts to the Department of Anthropology, in accessions 255963, 264169, 268921, 270239, and 279910.
The Special Collections at the University of Washington holds the Elizabeth Bayley Willis Papers, 1933-1988.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
These photographs cannot be reproduced without permission from the photographers.
Photo lot 79-11, Elizabeth Bayley Willis photograph collection of peoples, artifacts, and scenery of Northeastern India, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution