Department of Eastern Art


Curatorial Responsibilities

Dr Andrew Topsfield, Keeper
Curator of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art
Shelagh Vainker, Assistant Keeper
Curator of Chinese Art
Dr Clare Pollard, Assistant Keeper
Curator of Japanese Art
Dr Francesca Leoni
Yousef Jameel Curator of Islamic Art



The Newberry Collection

Islamic, Indian, and Coptic textiles collected by the Egyptologist Percy E Newberry (1869-1949) at a time when historical textiles were for sale in Cairo and Alexandria. No archaeological context is known for the mainly fragmentary material, but many of the pieces will have come from Fustat, the urban centre that predates the founding of Cairo in 969AD.

The Creswell Archive

Digital images from the unique negative collection of Professor K A C Creswell, the eminent pioneer of medieval Islamic architectural history. The Creswell Archive website also provides links to ArchNet, the website established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in co-ordination with the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, and to the Fine Arts Library at Harvard University.


James Allan, Islamic Ceramics. A survey of Islamic ceramics, from 9th century lustreware, c.16th and 17th century blue and white, to 17th century 'Gombroon ware'. The pieces illustrated are mainly from Turkey or Iran, formerly in the collection of Sir Alan Barlow or Gerald Reitlinger.

Andrew Topsfield, Indian Paintings from Oxford Collections: A selection of the Mughal period (c.1500-1850) paintings from the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library. The illustrations include examples from Rajput, Deccani and the Mughal schools.

Marianne Ellis, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt. The Newberry Collection in the Ashmolean Museum is one of the world's most important collections of medieval Islamic embroideries. Collected during the first three decades of the 20th century, the pieces are mainly from Egypt or Syria. The designs are still clearly visible and the richness of patterns and technical brilliance make them a treasure trove for textile scholars and embroidery enthusiasts alike.

Amy Heller, Early Himalayan Art. This book presents the some important early sculptures and other objects from Tibet and Nepal dating c. 500 1400 AD by an eminent authority on Himalayan Art. Dr Amy Heller provides detailed descriptions of some sixty objects in the Ashmolean's collection, and examines the objects in relation to the geography of trade within the Himalayan and neighbouring regions, the antecedents of thee objects in India and the surrounding regions, and developments in the arts from the seventh to fourteenth century.

For further publications please see the Ashmolean Shop



Objects of the Month