Kasthakala: The Art of Nepalese Wood Carving
Author: Heinrich Meyer
About the Book:
Beauty and elegance of sculptures and wooden works of art, some of them well over a thousand years old, the creativity and ingenuity of the wood artists in the design of varying objects and components, as well as the diversity of shapes and ornaments, characterize this book. It is a magnificent illustrated book with a lot of background information that is aimed at a broad readership, both, professionally interested in Nepalese art, as well as, art lovers, friends of woodcarving, educational travellers and friends of Nepal.
The wood carving art of the Kathmandu Valley is certainly the most exquisite design element of the traditional Newar architecture. For this book, Heinrich Meyer has evaluated the stock of his photographs, documented over four decades, and systematically prepared them for the reader. The author worked as an architect and monument conservator from 1975 - 1979 in the German-funded Bhaktapur Development Project (BDP). In a meritorious way he initiated a woodcarving cooperative, which not only developed economically successful, but also led the art of woodcarving to a new heyday. This book on Nepalese woodcarving is dedicated to the magnificent woodcarvers of the Newar Silpakar cast and is an appreciation of their craft tradition throughout centuries.
Printed on high quality art paper, this book is not only a feast for the eyes, but also a time document of particular value. Many of the valuable historic carvings in Nepal were lost over time due to neglect, decay, earthquakes and theft. The extensive documentation contains photos that were taken in the 1970s after the restoration of the sculptures in a dismantled condition and cannot be photographed in the same setting again. Other valuable sculptures documented in the book have been stolen in the meantime and have disappeared forever.