GRAY, Basil. London 21.7.1904 — Oxford 10.6.1989. Art Historian specialized in Indian, Iranian, and Chinese Art. Son of an army surgeon, educated at Bradfield School. After Oxford (New College) participated in 1928 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. Mainly interested in Persian and Chinese art, wrote also on Indian and Japanese. Married 1933 Nicolette, the daughter of —> L. Binyon and a mediaevalist, children.
Publications: Persian Painting. 92 p. L. 1930.
– with A. L. B. Ashton: Chinese Art. 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. L. 1947; Persian Painting. Geneva 1961 (also in French and German).
– Indian Painting. British Museum 1947.
– Treasures of Indian miniatures in the Bikaner Palace Collection. Oxford 1951, rev. 2nd ed. 1955.
– Early Chinese Pottery and Porcelain. L. 1953; Japanese Woodcuts. Oxford 1957.
– with A. Godard: Iran. Persian Miniatures — Imperial Library. N.Y. 1956.
– Buddhist Cave-Paintings at Tun-Huang. L. 1959.
– many articles, especially in Br. Mus. Quart., also on Indian art.
Sources: R. Pinder-Wilson, Iran 17, 1979, 1-8 with bibliography & phot); R. Pinder-Wilson, Iran 27, 1989, Vf. with photo; J.M. Rogers, Encyclop. Itanica 11:2, 2002, 199f. with photo.