Stella Kramrisch(1896-1993)

Austrian-born and educated art historian of' South Asian art, Stella Kramrisch studied under Joseph Strzygowski at the University of Vienna.

In 1921, Rabindranath invited Stella Kramrisch to join Kala-Bhavana as a teacher of art history. Rabindranath decided that teachers and students would attend her classes. She started her lectures with the history of Gothic Art. She followed by discussing the works of some artists in the 17th century; during these discussions she spoke at length on Titian, Durer and Rembrandt. She introduced her students to the modem period from Impressionism to Cubism; Indian artists were unaware of these developments taking place in the West. She spoke of the ideals, the motives, the successes and the failure of these artists illustrating her 
talk with facts and analysis - explaining the new art forms. She explained the structure and form of art; teaching her students to view a work of art, to go beyond the subject-matter and consider its composition. Her student Binodebihari Mukhopadhyaya wrote about her: 
"The role of Havell in the revival of Indian art has been acknowledged. Most of us know Kramrisch as an art-historian, but her role in the modem Indian art vision has never been conceded. Comparing her to Havell, it may be said that whereas Havell drew our attention to the ideal of Indian ideas, it was Kramrisch who opened a new vista for Indian artists by explaining to them from the point of modernism, experiments made in various media and form in Indian art." 

She was a skilled dancer and taught 'musical drill' to the children of the Santiniketan asrama.She also taught German. Stella participated in all the festivals of Santiniketan and was interested in the cultural events taking place around Santiniketan. She wrote, "Living in the nearness of Dr Tagore makes me realise India in full intensity." 

Visva-Bharati honoured her with the Desikottama in 1974 and the Govt. of India conferred upon her the Padmabhushan in 1982.