Resource: Petzold scrolls collection of Buddhist art


達磨大師像 (Daruma daishi zō)

Harvard University’s Harvard-Yenching Library recently launched digital access to one of their most valuable collections, the Petzold scrolls collection. The collection includes 424 scrolls that were acquired from the family of Bruno Petzold (1873-1949) in 1951. Petzold was a German-born scholar of Buddhism, and thus the majority of the collection reflects this deep interest. The works, primarily paintings, woodblock prints, calligraphy, and rubbings from Japan, also include some materials from China and Tibet.

The site contains nine pages with extensive images of the collection, each included with the title in their original language and a Romanized text version. If a date is available for the piece, it is included on the individual page for the artwork, although no other information is provided. Each piece includes a high-resolution photograph with zooming option capabilities for a closer look at the work, which is incredibly valuable for visual analysis. Quick browsing is also easily possible with left and right arrow keys, rather than clicking each individual page.

Unfortunately, at this time the collection does not include any detailed background on each artwork, but the collection itself is of great importance for research purposes, so hopefully more information will be forthcoming. Check it out through the link below!


About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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