Photo: Rows of Buddha statues

Photograph by Martin Gray

Photo: Photographer Martin Gray

Photograph courtesy Martin Gray

Martin Gray is an anthropologist and photographer specializing in the study of sacred architecture, holy places, and pilgrimage traditions around the world.

During his career, he has traveled widely, visiting some 80 countries to study and photograph more than a thousand holy places of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary cultures.

In his travels, he recognized that the sacred places he saw were repositories of many of the world's greatest artistic and cultural treasures. But because of their out-of-doors locations and their resulting exposure to industrial pollution, these structures do not receive the protection given to paintings, sculptures, and other museum art. In light of this, his research and travels took on greater purpose. Public attention needed to be drawn to the degraded condition of these art pieces to preserve them for the benefit and education of future generations. To this end, he created a multi-projector slide show of his work, which has been presented at museums, universities, and conferences around the world.

Gray has conducted extensive studies of sacred site mythology and the history of religions and anthropology, and he is an expert in the subjects of ancient religion, sacred geography, archaeoastronomy, and ecopsychology. In 2004 National Geographic published the book The Geography of Religion, for which Gray was a principal photographer.

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