Commemorating Prof. Walter Spink
This is a free and open lecture to remember Dr. Walter Spink who read the Ajanta caves of Aurangabad district, Maharashtra like a book. He spent six decades of his life studying and understanding the caves, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. He was a Professor Emeritus at Michigan University. He passed his graduation with highest distinction from Amherst College in Massachusetts and then continued his studies in Harvard University. He was greatly influenced by Benjamin Rowland, one of the pioneer Western art historians to contribute to Indian art. He treated Ajanta as his own child and chalked out a precise, crisp timeline, which is popularly known as the “short chronology.” In one of his publications, he stated that “Ajanta yields it secrets willingly once you’ve earned its respect.” This is actually true in his case, as most people believe that Ajanta and Dr. Walter Spink were made for each other.
About The Speakers
Geri H. Malandra is Associate Director of Professional Development and Conference Services, Continuing Education and Extension at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In addition to her work on the prehistory, history, languages and art of ancient South Asia, she has also pursued research on the prehistory and art of ancient Iran and on Sumerian and ancient Near Eastern economic texts.
Prof. Arvind P. Jamkhedkar is the Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He is an archaeologist and historian. Prof. Arvind Jamkhedkar is currently the Chancellor of Deccan College in Pune. In 1960, he obtained master’s degree in Sanskrit from the University of Pune. In 1966, he finished a doctorate in Ancient Indian Culture from Deccan College. He served as vice-president of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai during the 2007 to 2013 period. He also works as editor of the Journal of Asiatic Society of Mumbai. A.P. Jamkhedkar is currently Director, K.J. Somaiya Centre for South & Southeast Asian Studies, Mumbai. Earlier he also served as Director of State Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra.
Dr Tejas Madan Garge is Director, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Maharashtra. He is the first archaeologist who has been appointed to this post after a gap of nearly 20 years. Dr Garge is a renowned archaeologist, whose proficiency in his field is as in-depth as it is varied.
Dr. Garge started his career with the Bharatiya Puratatva Samaj in Delhi as research assistant after completing his PhD from Pune’s Deccan College. He later joined the Archaeological Survey of India as Assistant Archaeologist and was promoted to Deputy Superintending Archaeologist.
During his career, Dr. Garge has worked on a wide array of subjects as diverse as the Harappan Civilisation and canons in the 19th century. He is an expert on topics including forts and fortifications, ancient Indian arts and architecture, marine archaeology, heritage management and laws pertaining to archaeology. Studying the Ajanta Caves under his guidance, either in the lecture hall or on an actual field visit, is an experience not to be missed. He has to his credit many research papers, essays, books and articles in national and international publications. He continues to contribute regular columns and articles to Marathi and English publications.