In 1907, Mary Binney Wheeler was born into a prominent Philadelphia family. She was quite talented in the musical and terpsichorean arts; at the age of 17, she performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Later in life, she developed a deep and abiding interest in South Asian art and culture. Over the course of 14 trips to the area, she took over 9,000 photographs in India and Sri Lanka. Her work was recognized by the National Geographic Society, the Indian government, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art as being of tremendous importance as it documented everything from washing laundry to the Himalayan Mountains. This collection is a marvel, and visitors can use the Navigating the Digital Collection area to learn how to most effectively look through the archive. The site also includes a detailed biography of Wheeler's life. Finally, the Lectures area should not be missed. There are six wonderful illustrated lectures here, narrated by Ms. Wheeler. They cover Sri Lanka, life in the ancient palaces, and the Valley of the Sky.
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