Krishna Roy Riboud '49

Alumnae Achievement Awards 1998

Krishna Roy Riboud '49
Textile Conservator

Krishna Roy Riboud, a businesswoman, international authority, and educator on Asian textiles, graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in philosophy. Originally from Dhaka, India, Krishna’s father was the director of public health in East Bengal and Ena Tagore. After her father saved the life of a young American girl, the girl’s family encouraged Krishna to apply to Wellesley on the Mayling Soong Foundation Scholarship, which she eventually won.

Krishna married Jean Riboud, a French lieutenant, Resistance officer and, later, the CEO of Schlumberger Limited, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling contractors. They had one child, Christophe, and started the Association for the Study and Documentation of Asian Textiles in 1979. Krishna’s collection of textiles included 3,500 pieces and helped to establish the preservation of these rather forgotten historical artifacts. She published over 40 scholarly articles on ancient silks and fabrics dating back to the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D) and was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her work in fostering relations between France and India. She served on multiple boards for museums, including the board of review for Harvard University Museums and the Conseil Artistique, the overseeing body of French museums.

Before her death in 2000, Krishna continued to travel, visit her three grandchildren, and teach seminars at the Sorbonne. Krishna, as her friends write, was known as a “warm and wise mentor with a passion.”


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