Cave Temples at Ellora, India (Deepanjana Danda Klein and Arno Klein)
Artstor is collaborating with Dr. Deepanjana Danda Klein to share her unique archive of photographic documentation of the more than 30 rock-cut cave temples at Ellora, India. The approximately 2,500 black-and-white and approximately 4,500 color photographs of the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave shrines at Ellora — produced in connection with a collaboration with Professor Walter Spink from University of Michigan and Deepanjana's dissertation devoted to the site, now being published as an exhaustive scholarly study — will significantly strengthen and deepen Artstor's already strong collections in Asian Art.
Ellora has been described as a "site of outstanding cave temples, datable between c. AD 575 and the end of the 9th century, 20 km north of Aurangabad in the Sahyadri Hills, Maharashtra, India. The caves were excavated into volcanic rock along a 2-km stretch of west-facing embankment. The 34 major caves are numbered consecutively rather than chronologically, starting with the Buddhist group (Caves 1–12) in the south. Other groups are dedicated to the Brahmanical pantheon (Caves 14–29) and to Jainism (Caves 30–34). The most notable monument is Cave 16, the Kailasa Temple" which "represents the culmination of rock-cut architecture, with huge sculptural reliefs heightening the overall symbolism of the temple as cosmic mountain and as the home of Shiva" (Grove Art Online).
The present photographic campaign at Ellora represents the first systematic documentation of the entire site, including the first photographs of previously undocumented caves. Dr. Walter Spink, Professor Emeritus of the University of Michigan, speaks to the significance of the current project when he says "Due to the knowledge, energy, and technical expertise of Dr. Deepanjana Danda Klein and the enthusiastic cooperation of her husband, Dr. Arno Klein, scholars now finally have a truly comprehensive photographic coverage of this great site's varied Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain material." And Max Marmor, Artstor Director of Collection Development, expressed Artstor's enthusiasm for this collaboration. "We have long admired the South Asian documentary efforts that have emerged from the University of Michigan over many years. The inclusion within Artstor of Deepanjana Danda Klein's documentation of the immensely important shrines at Ellora will significantly enrich Artstor's already strong offerings in the art of India, anchored by the Huntington Archive of Asian Art and the ACSAA Color Slide Project materials just now being added to Artstor."