Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

1/1/2010 - 12/31/2012

Funding Totals

$255,000.00 (approved)
$255,000.00 (awarded)

The Unfinished: Indian Stone Carvers at Work

FAIN: RZ-50997-09

Columbia University (New York, NY 10027-7922)
Vidya J. Dehejia (Project Director: November 2008 to May 2017)

A study of unfinished rock-cut and constructed stone monuments in India. (24 months)

Just about every rock-cut site in India and every constructed stone monument yields something incomplete, and in this collaborative project, Dehejia and Rockwell suggest that the very concept of the "unfinished" in pre-modern India requires rethinking. Our preliminary study has begun to generate evidence to resolve a variety of art historical issues; one such, pertaining to rock-cut shrines, is that once the sanctum was complete and ready for worship, the finish of surrounding areas became irrelevant. We plan a volume of essays that will begin the process of integrating an appreciation of the issues related to stone-working techniques, the tools used, the processes of carvers, and the extent to which the final carvings are influenced by the nature of the stone used--into the history of South Asian art. "The Unfinished: Indian Stone Carvers at Work" is a significant start in an untouched field.