Stuart Cary Welch

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Stuart Cary Welch, Jr.
Stuart Cary Welch, Jr.

(1928-04-02)April 2, 1928
Buffalo, United States
DiedAugust 13, 2008(2008-08-13) (aged 80)
Alma materHarvard University
Parent(s)Stuart Cary Welch, Sr.
Harriet Frances Mack

Stuart Cary Welch Jr. (2 April 1928 – 13 August 2008) was an American scholar and curator of Indian and Islamic art.

Life and career[edit]

Welch was born to a prominent family in Buffalo, New York. His maternal grandfather, Norman Edward Mack, was publisher of The Buffalo Times. He began collecting drawings by Indian artists as a boy. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Harvard University in 1950, then did graduate work there in classical art. Because they offered no Indian or Islamic art courses at the time, he became an autodidact.

His first paid position at Harvard was in 1956, as honorary assistant keeper of Islamic Art at the Fogg Museum. He later developed one of the first curricula for Islamic and Indian art. He was curator of Islamic and Later Indian art at the Harvard Art Museum, and from 1979 to 1987, he was also special consultant for the department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[1] Welch taught at Harvard until his retirement in 1995, and he donated much of his collection to the school.[2] A resident of New Hampshire, Welch died of a heart attack while traveling in Hokkaido, Japan.[3]

The remainder of his personal collection was auctioned by Sotheby's in 2011. On 6 April 2011, a single page from the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp (The Houghton Shahnameh) of which Welch was the leading scholar, was sold for 7.4 million pounds ($12 million).[4]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Royal Persian Manuscripts, Thames & Hudson, 1976, ISBN 0-500-27074-0
  • Room for Wonder: Indian Painting During the British Period, 1760-1880. American Federation of Arts, 1978
  • Imperial Mughal Painting. Braziller, 1978
  • The Houghton Shahnameh (with Martin Bernard Dickson). Harvard University, 1981


  1. ^ Raynor, Vivien (December 21, 1979). Art People; Expert on India gets Met post.New York Times
  2. ^ McQuaid, Cate (November 19, 1999). Ex-curator donates 300 works to Harvard. Boston Globe
  3. ^ Fox, Margalit (September 10, 2008). Stuart Cary Welch, Scholar and Collector of Islamic and Indian art, Dies at 80. New York Times
  4. ^ "16th century folio sets Islamic art auction record". Retrieved 13 February 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]