GRAY, Basil

GRAY, Basil. London 21.7.1904 — Oxford 10.6.1989. British Art Historian specialized in Indian, Iranian, and Chinese Art. Son of Charles Gray, an army surgeon, and Florence Elworthy Cowell, educated at Bradfield School. Graduated 1927 from Oxford (New College). In 1928 participated at British Museum excavations in Constantinople and now became interested in Eastern art. From 1928 worked at Dept. of Printed Books in British Museum, from 1930 at Dept. of Oriental Prints and Drawings, from 1938 at Dept. of Oriental Antiquities, where he served in 1940-46 as Deputy Keeper and 1946-69 as Keeper. In 1968-69 Acting Director and Principal Librarian in British Museum, retired in 1969. He was mainly interested in Persian and Chinese art, wrote also on Indian and Japanese. Married 1933 Nicolette (1911–1997), a mediaevalist and the daughter of —> L. Binyon, five children.

Publications: Persian Painting. 92 p. L. 1930.

With A. L. B. Ashton: Chinese Art. 366 p. L. 1935; with J. V. S. Wilkinson: “Indian Paintings in a Persian Museum”, Burlington Mag. 66, 1935, 138-177.

Masterpieces of Persian Miniature Painting. N.Y. 1940; Persian Painting from miniatures of the XIII–XVI centuries. 13 p. 12 pl. L. 1940.

Rajput Painting. 24 p. 10 pl. L. British Museum 1947; Treasures of Indian miniatures in the Bikaner Palace Collection. 26 p. ill. Oxford 1951, rev. 2nd ed. 1955.

Early Chinese Pottery and Porcelain. 16+48 p. 96 pl. L. 1953.

With A. Godard: Iran. Persian Miniatures — Imperial Library. 25+7 p. 34 pl. N.Y. 1956.

Buddhist Cave-Paintings at Tun-Huang. 87 p. 70 pl. L. 1959.

With D. Barrett, Painting of India. 213 p. 1963.

Arts of the book in Central Asia, 14th-16th centuries. 14+314 p. ill. Boulder Colo. 1979.

The Arts of India. 224 p. ill. Ithaca NY 1981.

Further works, many articles, especially in Br. Mus. Quart., also on Indian art.

Sources: *J. Hatcher, Oxford D.N.B.; R. Pinder-Wilson, Iran 27, 1989, vf. with photo; J.M. Rogers, Iran 17, 1979, 3-8 with bibliography & photo, also *Proc. Br. Acad. 105, 1999, 439-457; J.M. Rogers, Encyclop. Iranica 11:2, 2002, 199f. with photo; Wikipedia.

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