Mary Beth Heston


Address: Harbor Walk West, Room 210
Phone: 843.953.8285

Mary Beth Heston teaches courses on the visual arts and visual culture of South Asia, China, and Japan; she also teaches in Asian Studies, and is the founding Director of the Asian Studies Program. Her research has focused on the arts of the Kerala region of south India; her publications and current projects examine constructions of the body; architecture and kingship; defining a regional visual tradition; painting and its patronage as expressions of authority; and visual narratives.


Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio

Research Interests

Asian Art/Art of India

Courses Taught

ASST 101 Introduction to Asian Studies
ARTH 103 History of Asian Art
ARTH 241 History of the Art of India
ARTH 242 History of the Art of China
ARTH 243 History of the Art of Japan
ARTH 308 Studies in Asian Art
ARTH 321 Hindu Myth and Image
ARTH 322 Indian Painting


“The “Performance” of Visual Narrative in Courtly Kerala: The Ramayana Murals of Mattanceri Palace,” ed. Alexandra Green, in Rethinking Visual Narratives from Asian: Intercultural and Comparative Perspectives (Hong Kong University Press, 2013), 215-227

“’Iconicity:’ Indexing Transformation in Kerala Narrative Painting,” Indian Painting: Themes, Histories, Interpretations: Essays in Honour of B.N. Goswamy, Mahesh Sharma and Padma Kaimal, ed. (Ahmedabad: Mapin, 2013), 368 – 377

“Reconsidering the Ramayana Murals, Mattanceri Palace (Kerala),” in Indian Painting: the Lesser Known Traditions, editor Anna L. Dallapiccola (New Delhi: Niyogi Publications, 2011), 190-205

"Mixed Messages in the New ‘Public’ Travancore: Building the Capital 1860-1880,” Art History 31/2 (2008), 211-247.

"Powerful Bodies: "Kerala Style" Bronzes and Thinking about a Regional Style," Archives of Asian Art, vol. 54 (2004), 63-93