Works from the encyclopedic collection of Dr. Robert J. Del Bontà. Comprised of prints and published volumes from a range of European and North American sources dating from the 16th through 20th centuries, primarily illustrating the visual reception of Indian visual culture through scholarly and popular press. By tracing how these images were interpreted and reproduced over time, the collection demonstrates how perceptions of Indian culture shifted through the centuries, from the Enlightenment to the colonial period and Christian missionary movement, and into modernity. Together these prints reveal structures of the European and American imagination as much as they encapsulate conceptions of India. Specific topics illustrated include religious ascetics and religios practices, as well as Mughal rulers. Also included are an extensive group of photographic stereocards of Indian subjects from a number of publishers, including a nearly complete set taken by James Ricalton between 1891 and 1900 and published by Underwood & Underwood.
Arranged on one shelf
Biographical / Historical:
Polymath scholar, curator, collector, and jeweler, Dr. Robert J. Del Bontà began to collect prints related to India while completing his doctorate in South Asian art history at the University of Michigan in the 1970s. In his collecting practices, Del Bontà traces how Europeans and Americans constructed knowledge about India through prints. He focuses on the curious mixture that resulted when events witnessed "up close" in India were published "from afar," in Europe or America. A careful attention to prints made "up close" allows Del Bontà to see how Indian and European texts and visual resources influenced travelers' on-the-spot observations in India. By viewing prints created "from afar," he examines how printmakers and publishers fluent in European artistic conventions adapted travelers' in-person observations, always adding a dash of fantasy. He further tracks how compositions were copied and altered over long stretches of time, inspiring questions about publication practices as well as the accuracy of these images.
Collection is open for research.
Robert J. Del Bonta Collection, FSA A2014.06. National Museum of Asian Art Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Photographs collected by Marjorie Meriweather Post relating to NAtive Americans. They include images of Post's home at Camp Topridge, Geronimo, Buffalo Bill Cody, Native chiefs and US officials at Pine Ridge in 1891, and Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle. Additionally, there are lithographs of Caa-tou-see and Shin-Ga-Ba-Wossinis, and a B. Picart engraving of Native Americans circling a burial mound and a newspaper clipping ("Out of Human Skin") in a frame made from a squirrel pelt.
Marjorie Meriweather Post (1887-1973) was a Washington, D.C., businesswoman, philanthropist, and collector of decorative art objects. Her father Charles W. Post was the owner of Postup Cereal Company, later General Foods Corporation. In 1973, Marjorie Post's philanthropy earned her the first ever James Smithson Society Medal, the Smithsonian Institution's highest benefactor award. After her death, Post willed her Hillwood estate to the Smithsonian along with her American Native American collection at Camp Topridge.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 75-46
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds the Marjorie Merriweather Post papers (MS 7278).
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds the records of Post's Hillwood Estate, 1960-1976 (SIA RS00740).
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 75-46, Marjorie Meriweather Post photograph collection, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Description du manége moderne : dans sa perfection, expliqué par des leçons necessaires, et representé par des figures exactes, depuis l'assiette de l'homme à cheval jusqu'à l'arrest accompagné aussi de divers mords pour bien brider les chevaux / ecrit et dessiné par le baron d'Eisenberg, et gravé par B. Picart
Naaukeurige beschryving der uitwendige godtsdienst-plichten, kerk-zerden en gerwoontens van ale volkeren der waereldt; in een historisch verhaal, met eenige naaukeurige verhandelingen ontvouwen, door verschedien aanmerkingen opgeheldert; en in kumstige tafereelen afgemaalt: / geteekent door Bernard Picard. Uit het Fransch in Nederduitsch overgezet door Abraham Moubach
Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde, représentées par des figures dessinées de la main de Bernard Picart: avec une explication historique, & quelques dissertations curieuses ..
L'art de batir les vaisseaux, et d'en perfectionner la construction de les garnir de leurs apparaux, les mettre en funin, les manoeuvrer, &c. ... : Outre, Les pavillons de divers etats : Le tout tiré des meilleurs auteurs hollandois, comme Witsen, van Eyk, Allard, &c