Few people may be aware of it, but among the information and images about Dunhuang and other archaeological sites on the eastern Silk Road available on IDP's website, there are also a number of photographs taken by modern-day explorers.
In the twentieth century, as news of the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas spread worldwide following their 'rediscovery' by Sir Aurel Stein and Paul Pelliot, an increasing number of travellers, both from China and overseas, started venturing to the site. Irene Vincent, née Vongehr, was one of the foreign visitors who made it, despite the difficulties of the journey.
|Detail of a photograph of Irene Vincent at the Mogao Caves, Dunhuang in 1948. Photo 1231/4(49)|
|Film negative of the Vincent family in 1948: Irene, John, Jamini and Bronwen. Photo 1231/1(90)|
|Irene's truck experiencing some difficulties on its way to Dunhuang. Passengers are waiting on board while it is being fixed. Photo 1231/4(2)|
|Central portion of Mogao Caves, Dunhuang. Photo 1231/4(6)|
|West wall of Cave 283. Photo 1231/4(25)|
|Photograph of a view looking across the river to the Dunhuang Mogao caves with Irene Vincent. Photo 1231/5(31)|
|Irene Vincent and her two daughters in a truck to Qinghai, during their family trip to Dunhuang in 1948-49. Photo 1231/2(56)|
|Photograph of Cave 257, taken by John B. Vincent. Photo 1231/6(10)|
To see all of the Vincent photographs on IDP search the IDP database for 'Photo 1231'.
See IDP News 42 for more on on 20th century travellers to Dunhuang.