Professor Michael W. Meister, Jaffe 308
Time: TTH 10:30-12, B4 Meyerson
Thesis: The wooden
architecture of ancient India's cities is represented in relief carvings
from Buddhist religious monuments of the early centuries A.D. and replicated
in remarkable excavated cave cathedrals. This course will trace that architectural
tradition, its transformation into a symbolic vocabulary for a new structure,
the Hindu temple, and the development of the temple in India from ca. 500-1500
Visual Resources: The University of Pennsylvania houses a photographic archive of Indian art and architecture (now over 80,000 photographs) as part of the W. Norman Brown South Asia Reference Room on the fifth floor west end of Van Pelt library. To gain access, contact the South Asia bibliographer, David Nelson, or his staff.
Some images are available on-line:
Text Books: Two general
surveys are available at the Penn Book Center (130 S. 34th St.):
James C. Harle, The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent (Pelican History of Art). New York, 1986.
George Michell, The Hindu
Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms, New York, 1977 (Chicago
University Press paperback).
Other Readings: Additional
readings will be distributed or placed on reserve as needed.
(A preliminary list of these
reading will be posted when Pennlin is up and running next week.)
Course assignments: In addition to participation in class discussion, students will be asked to prepare short reports and to choose an area for research leading to a final paper.
Themes to be covered in class lectures and discussion:
(subject to change)
alternative life-styles (ascetics)
housing as symbol
The most recent full survey
of Indian art and chitecture is in the new Grove
Dictionary of Art
in the Fine Arts Library reference room and on-line athttp://www.groveart.com/
(to use the on-line version
from a U. Penn. connection, click on
"Subscribers enter here" at
the upper right).
Find my "introduction" to
Indian Architecture, print it out, and read it.
Try looking up other aspects
of India's architecture using this web resource and let me know what you
General Bibliography for
Batley, Claude. The Design Development of Indian Architecture, 3rd rev. enl. ed., London, 1973.
Brown, Percy. Indian Architecture, vol. 1. Buddhist and Hindu periods, 5th ed., Bombay, 1965.
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. The Arts and Crafts of India and Ceylon. London, 1913.
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Essays in Early Indian Architecture, edited & with an Introduction by Michael W. Meister, Oxford University Press, 1993.
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. History of Indian and Indonesian Art. New York, 1927.
Fergusson, James. History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, London, 1876; revised and edited by James Burgess, 2 vol., London, 1910.
Herdeg, Klaus. Formal Structure in Indian Architecture, preface by Balkrishna Doshi,
Pereira, José. Elements of Indian Architecture, Delhi, 1987.
Tadgell, Christopher. The History of Architecture in India: From the Dawn of Civilization to the End of the Raj, London: Architecture Design and Technology Press, 1990.
Volwahsen, Andreas. Living
Architecture: Indian and Living Architecture: Islamic Indian,
New York, 1969-70.
Arth 212: Cities and Temples
in Ancient India
placed on Reserve (1: Sept. 99)
Irwin, John, "'Aokan' Pillars:
A Reassessment of the Evidence-IV: Symbolism," The Burlington Magazine
118 (1976): 734-53.
Meister, Michael and Joseph
Rykwert. "Adam's House and Hermits' Huts," in Coomaraswamy, Early
Indian Architecture, Oxford 1993, pp. 125-31 (look also at the
plates in the volume).
Meister, Michael W. "Asceticism
and Monasticism as Reflected in Indian Art," in Austin B. Creel and Vasudha
Narayana, ed., Monastic Life in the Christian and Hindu Traditions,
Lewiston, NY, 1990, pp. 219-44. (xerox)
The Language and Process of Early Indian Architecture." In Coomaraswamy,
Early Indian Architecture, pp. xviixxvii.
the Text," in Contemporary Architecture and City Form, The South
Asian Paradigm, Bombay 1997, pp. 88-100.
----------, "Sub-Urban Planning
and Rock-Cut Architecture in India," in M. S. Nagaraja Rao, ed., Madhu:
Recent Researches in Indian Archaeology and Art History, Delhi 1982,
pp. 157-64. (xerox)
Renou, Louis. "The Vedic House," Res 34 (1998): 142-61.
[The text only of this essay
is also available on the Web at:
As you read, please
keep notes on these essays, recording what you think is useful in them.
Web Assignment (Sept.
Look up three of India's
ancient cities, Mohenjo-daro, Patna, and Bodhgaya in the Grove Dictionary
on-line. Compare and contrast them in a 1-2 page essay. (If you use prose
from the Grove make sure to use quotes and to cite the contributor
[you can do this in brackets]).
Handout and Computer Exercise,
from Western India, material assembled from Grove Dictionary of
Bhaja. Bedsa, Kondane,
Review images are available at:
On-Line Assignment: The edited texts I handed out in class were found using "article searches" in the on-line Grove Dictionary. Try doing "full text searches" for these sites to see what other kinds of information are available in what places in the Dictionary.
Arth 212: Cities and Temples
in Ancient India
2. Supplementary Readings,
articles placed on Reserve (October 99)
Meister, Michael W. "Construction and Conception: Mandapika Shrines of Central India," East and West, new series 26 (1978): 409-18.
"Temple Building in South
Asia: Science as Technology's Constraint," in Peter Gaeffke and David A.
Utz, eds., Science and Technology in South Asia, Philadelphia: Dept.
of South Asia Regional Studies, 1985, pp. 31-36.
"Symbology and Architectural
Practice in India." In Sacred Architecture in the Traditions of India,
China, Judaism and Islam, ed. Emily Lyle, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University
Press, 1992, pp. 5-24.
"The Hindu Temple: Axis of Access," in Kapila Vatsyayan, ed., Concepts of Space, Ancient and Modern, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, pp. 269-80.
"Measurement and Proportion
in Hindu Temple Architecture," Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
10 (1985): 248-58.
"Fragments from a Divine
Cosmology: Unfolding Forms on India's Temple Walls," in Vishakha Desai
and Darielle Mason, eds., Gods, Guardians, and Lovers, Temple
Sculptures from North India A.D. 700-1200, New York:The Asia Society
Galleries, 1993, pp. 94-115. (this volume is on reserve)
As you read, please
keep notes on these essays, recording what you think is useful in them
and what questions they raise in your mind.
Supplementary Readings (November):
I note that the November readings have not yet been properly added to the course's Homepage. These are:
Margaret Case, "The Birth of a Shrine"
M. Meister, "Temples, Tirthas, and Pilgrimage"
M. Meister, "The Two-and-a-Half-Day Mosque"
M. Meister and Pika Ghosh, Cooking for the Gods: the Art of Home Ritual in Bengal, Newark Museum catalogue
M. Meister, "Self Preservation and the Life of Temples." This brief report on a recent project is available on line at:
Final Paper assignment:
Pick one site or temple from the medieval period after
the hour exam and do research to write an essay of ca. 10-12 pages on some
aspect of it. This is intended to allow you to follow up your interests
among the wide range of temples and regions we have covered in class. Please
develop a bibliography and cite your sources fully.