Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, announced the appointment of Darielle Mason as the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art. The curatorship is named in honor of the late Dr. Kramrisch, one of the most distinguished scholars of Indian art of this century, who served as Curator and Curator Emeritus of Indian Art at the Museum from 1954 until her death in 1993. Ms. Mason is currently the Assistant Curator of the Asiatic Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in charge of the Indian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan collections. She will assume her new post in Philadelphia in early November, 1996. Ms. d'Harnoncourt commented: "We are delighted that Darielle Mason has accepted the position as the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art. She is a leading young scholar in the field and will bring a fresh vision and approach to the Museum's celebrated holdings, which are among the finest in this country, as well as to its future exhibitions and programs."
Darielle Mason received her B.A. in art history at Williams College and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation explored the temple architecture and sculpture of western India as it evolved between about A.D. 875 and 1000. As part of her research, she received grants to spend nearly two years studying Hindu and Jaina temples across India. She has been in the Asiatic Department of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston since 1990, where she has participated in many installations and exhibitions of Indian and Himalayan art and has published widely. She was coorganizer of Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculptures from North India, A.D. 700-1200, a major exhibition mounted by the Asia Society Galleries in New York in 1993.
Ms. Mason commented, "I have admired the collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since I frequented the galleries as a student. The Hindu Temple Hall, the only example of Indian temple architecture in any museum outside of India, and the collections of Indian sculpture are particularly fine and mesh with my own area of expertise. I look forward to working with the Museum's collections and staff, and to studying and introducing to the public the large and varied group of works of art that Dr. Kramrisch herself collected and bequeathed to the Museum."
In addition to the temple structure and stone sculpture, the Museum's wide-ranging collections of Indian and Himalayan art include Indian paintings and bronzes; an extensive and important group of textiles; a collection of Tibetan and Nepalese painting and sculpture that ranks among the finest in this country; and a variety of decorative and folk objects.