Stephen P. Huyler is an art historian, cultural anthropologist, photographer and author conducting a lifelong survey of the India’s sacred art and crafts and their meanings within rural societies. He has spent an average of four months each year during the last five decades traveling in Indian villages documenting craftsmanship and contemporary traditions.
Huyler has served as a consultant and/or guest curator for more than twenty-five museum exhibitions of Indian art, including shows at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Mingei International Museum (San Diego).
He is acknowledged as a leading photographer of India with an invaluable and extensive image archive. He has had many solo exhibitions of his images at such venues as the Smithsonian, the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Kodak Center for Creative Imaging.
Stephen Huyler has published six books: Village India Abrams (1984), Painted Prayers: Women’s Art in Village India Rizzoli (1994), Gifts of Earth: Terracottas and Clay Sculptures of India Mapin (1996) and Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion Yale University Press, (1999). Daughters of India: Art and Identity Abbeville (2008), and Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing Mapin (2009).
Dr. Huyler lives in Camden, Maine, although he spends several months each winter in India and during the rest of the year frequently travels to lecture in universities and museums in the U.S. and the U.K.
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Hands-on Research in Indian Textiles
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, as preparation for PhD on South Asian embroideries
Publication of first book
(Harry N Abrams, NY)
Exhibition: Forms of Mother Earth: Contemporary Terracottas of India
Mingei International Museum of Art, San Diego, as part of the Festival of India. Huyler co-curated the exhibition with Martha Longenecker and provided many of the displayed objects.
Exhibition: From Indian Earth: 4000 Years of Terracotta Art
Brooklyn Museum of Art as part of the Festival of India. Huyler assisted Curator Amy Poster in gathering material, providing photographic prints and objects from his own collection.
Awarded PhD in the Art and Archaeology of South Asia by London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies
Taught photographic masterclass each summer
The Ethics of Photographing Ethnic Cultures at the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops)
Exhibition: Mud, Mirror & Thread: Folk Traditions of Rural India
Co-curated exhibition at the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, and authored 2 chapters of the published catalog of the same title.
Publication of Gifts of Earth: Terracottas & Clay Sculptures of India
(Mapin Press & the Indira Gandhi Center for the Arts)
Publication of Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion (Yale University Press)
Publication of Korean Edition of Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion
Publication of Daughters of India: Art & Identity
(NY: Abbeville Press & Ahmedabad: Mapin Press)
Release of documentary film
Eye For India: Stephen Huyler’s Enthusiastic Journey of Discovery
Exhibition: Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing
Mingei International Museum, San Diego
Release of documentary film
Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing
Exhibition: From India and Beyond: Gifts from Stephen Huyler and the Pal Family Collection
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
40th Wedding Anniversary, December 20
Publication of Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent
Catalog published by University of California Press with chapter on Hinduism by Huyler.
Exhibition: Sonabai: Another Way of SeeingOtterbein University, Columbus, Ohio
Exhibition: Sonabai: Another Way of SeeingRiverside Gallery, Ypsilanti, MichiganRiverside Gallery, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Writing Memoirs of 50 years in India
A Life Transformed by India – As yet unpublished
Woman painting her daily kolam outside her home in Chhotamangalam, Chettinad, Tamil Nadu
Mastercraftsman Abdullah Ibrahim now uses an electric wheel to throw his traditional vessels. Kavda, Kachchh, Gujarat
Every morning of the year, scores of women in the ancient town of Badami, Karnataka, beat their clothes against stone steps worn down through millennia of similar washings.
INSPIRED: A LIFE TRANSFORMED
INSPIRED: A LIFE TRANSFORMED BY INDIA A MEMOIR BY STEPHEN P. HUYLER
With compelling story, wit, insight and candor, American author Stephen Huyler leads the reader into the heart of India. It is a country and culture he knows and loves well. Beginning with his arrival on his twentieth birthday, he spins tales of a young man’s fascination that grows and seasons into a rare relationship that has lasted half a century. Few foreigners have traveled as extensively in India as he. Huyler has learned to feel the pulse of the people. His innate adaptability has engendered an ability to be truly quiet, observing, accepting, and accepted by a remarkable range of individuals from maharajah to musician, Brahman to Dalit, and politician to potter. His memoirs are an evocation of an India rarely seen by outsiders: portraits of people, places and customs. The book combines humor with pathos, delight with dismay, sacred with secular, and tranquility with suspense. His personal narrative flows and unfolds seamlessly through a life transformed by India.