Stephen P. Huyler is an art historian, cultural anthropologist, photographer, and author. He has spent a large part of the last thirty-two years traveling in Indian villages documenting craftsmanship and traditional and contemporary cultures. His focus during the past decade has been on the sacred arts and spiritual rituals of practical Hinduism.
Dr. Huyler has curated many museum exhibitions devoted to informing the public about the cultures and peoples of India. Particularly noteworthy exhibitions have been: Puja: Expressions of Hindu Devotion at at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1996-2000) and Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (2001-2002).
This latter exhibition has also traveled in an amended form to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, to museums throughout India, to Leicester, England and will soon open at a museum in Bradford, England.
A lavishly illustrated book on the same subject, also entitled Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion, was published by Yale University Press in September 1999 with a paperback edition in 2002. Huyler's three other books are: Village India (1985), the only book to survey rural Indian life and cultures throughout the subcontinent and Gifts of Earth: Terracottas and Clay Sculptures of India (1996), the most comprehensive published survey of the Indian potters' craft, and Painted Prayers: Women's Art in Village India (1994) a well-acclaimed celebration of Indian women's identity through their household artistry.
The Washington Post Book World wrote about Painted Prayers:
Veteran India photographer Stephen P. Huyler fills these pages with vibrant images of a little known art form that is practiced in many a sun-drenched village of rural India…. The result is a riot of color sweeping the bleakest landscape of a poor country. Huyler’s breathtaking photography is a magnificent tribute to the spirituality, ingenuity and skill of these anonymous artists.
Over the past three decades, Stephen Huyler has photographed extensively throughout the Indian subcontinent and his archives include more than 200,000 edited slides. Aside from illustrating his own books, his images have appeared in numerous other publications and in photographic exhibitions worldwide. He has had solo shows sponsored by Kodak and the Smithsonian, as well as numerous international institutions. Constantly exploring new ways of portraying South Asia, Huyler has created a new photographic exhibition, India Unfolding, that opens this summer at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. It is a sensory exploration featuring interactive displays and images that employ leading-edge technologies in innovative ways.
Dr. Huyler frequently travels
to lecture on the subject of India, Indian art, and Indian women's
identity. In recent years he has taught graduate courses at the University
of London and Ohio State University. When not in India or lecturing
or curating exhibitions away from home, Huyler lives in Camden, Maine
with his wife Helene, amidst a large collection of Indian folk art
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