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INTRODUCTION TO ISLAMIC ART  
Abu Dhabi (Public), Saturday 14, Sunday 15, Monday 16 June
Abu Dhabi (Private), Sunday 15, Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June
 
Day 1, Introduction to Islamic Art: Arab Civilisations
 
 
DORIS BEHRENS-ABOUSEIF
Nasser D Khalili Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology, The School of Oriental and African Studies
MARK BEECH
Cultural Landscapes Manager, Historic Environment Department, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage
 
 
GEOFFREY KING
Reader in Islamic Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
ALASTAIR NORTHEDGE
Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology, Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne)
 
 

Time

Session

09:30-10:00

10:00-11:00



11:00-12:00




12:00-12:20

12:20-13:20





13:20-14:30

14:30-15:30




15:30-16:30




16:30-17:00


REGISTRATION & COFFEE

The Meanings of Islamic Art (Doris Behrens-Abouseif)
The lecture presents the major features of Islamic Art and discusses the nature of its patronage and the cultural factors that contributed to shape it.

Umayyad Art & Architecture (Geoffrey King)
The lecture describes the earliest Islamic art and architecture and its origins in Arabia and Bilâd al-Sha’m/Syria/Palestine with reference to the major holy edifices and the so-called desert palaces of the Umayyad rulers.

COFFEE BREAK

Abbasid Art & Architecture (Alastair Northedge)
The art of the apogee of the Abbasid caliphate: Baghdad, Samarra and Raqqa, This module deals with the urbanism and architecture of the mosques, palaces and sports facilities such as racecourses and hunting reserves. The art includes carved stuccoes, paintings from Samarra, and the production of new artistic styles, such as glazed ceramics.

LUNCH BREAK

The Artistic Personality of Islamic Egypt (Doris Behrens-Abouseif)
This lecture gives an overview of the history of Islamic architecture and the decorative arts in Egypt, showing its interaction with the development of the visual arts in the Muslim world in general and its specific relation with Egyptian history and culture.

The Foundations of Islamic Archaeology in the Gulf
(Mark Beech)
This module provides an overview of the Pre-Islamic prehistoric foundations of the Gulf region. It discusses what guiding factors lead people to settle in this region thousands of years ago, discussing major sites investigated by archaeologists.

COFFEE BREAK

Day 2, The Reach of Islam: Arts & Crafts
 
 
EDWARD GIBBS
Head of the Islamic Department, Sotheby's
ERNST GRUBE
Professor Emeritus from the University of Venice, Founder-Editor of Islamic Art
 
 
NAHLA NASSAR
Curator, Nasser D Khalili Collection
ELEANOR SIMS
Editor, Islamic Art
 
 
 
RACHEL WARD
Independent Scholar, Islamic Art
 
 
 

Time

Session

09:30-10:00

10:00-11:00





11:00-12:00




12:00-12:20

12:20-13:20





13:20-14:30

14:30-15:30





15:30-16:30





16:30-17:00


REGISTRATION & COFFEE

The Art of the Kiswa (Nahla Nassar)
This lecture presents an overview of the kiswah, the sitarah and the hizam of the Ka‘bah and related textiles from the Prophet’s Mosque, through historic accounts and extant examples, and a discussion of the styles, materials and techniques employed in their production.

Ceramics: The Islamic Tradition of Design (Ernst Grube)
This module is a brief survey of Islamic ceramics and their decoration from the 8th to the 18th centuries. It also deals with pre-Islamic and Chinese influences on Muslim potters and their technical invention and creativity.

COFFEE BREAK

The Glittering Surface: Islamic Inlaid Metalwork (Rachel Ward)
This lecture traces the evolution and development of inlaid brass vessels between the 12th and the 15th centuries and looks at the growing demand for these richly decorated objects at the courts of Renaissance Europe and the imitation of the inlay technique in the workshops of 15th century Venice.

LUNCH BREAK

Painting in the Islamic World: Painted Palaces & Illustrated Books (Eleanor Sims)
This overview covers monuments and illustrated literature in the Arab lands, Persia, Turkey and India through five examples of Islamic figural painting – an art that was widely practiced wherever Muslims lived and flourished but one whose existence is usually overlooked, if it is not actively negated.

History of Collecting & the Market Today
(Edward Gibbs)
While the earliest Islamic collections were formed through commercial and colonial contacts: art was both traded and looted. Today, the flow of art has been reversed: most of what is sold publicly today flows back into collections in the Middle East. The lecture traces the trends and history of Islamic collecting.

COFFEE BREAK

Day 3, Calligraphy: From Traditional to Modern
 
 
SALEH BARAKAT
Founder of Agial Art Gallery and Leading Expert in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art
VENETIA PORTER
Senior curator, Department of the Middle East, the British Museum
 
 
NABIL SAFWAT
Specialist in Islamic Calligraphy and the Arts of the Book
WISSAM SHAWKAT
Artist Calligrapher
 
 
 
TIM STANLEY
Senior Curator, Middle Eastern collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
 
 
 

Time

Session

09:30-10:00

10:00-11:00




11:00-12:00



12:00-12:20

12:20-13:20




13:20-14:30

14:30-15:30




15:30-16:30




16:30-17:00


REGISTRATION & COFFEE

Islamic Calligraphy: Aesthetics, Tradition & Morality (Nabil Safwat)
The susceptibility to beauty of the Islamic people is personified in their calligraphic achievements. This lecture discusses the principles of Islamic Calligraphy, its place as a venerated art, and the moral discipline that underlies it.

Arabic Calligraphy & Magic (Venetia Porter)
This lecture focuses on how Arabic calligraphy was used on amulets and other objects made for the protection of the individual and to ward off the evil eye.

COFFEE BREAK

Enhancing Calligraphy: The Arts of the Book (Tim Stanley)
The importance of calligraphy within the Islamic tradition has been demonstrated by the magnificence of the other arts of the book in the Islamic world, including illumination and binding.

LUNCH BREAK

Contemporary Calligraphy (Saleh Barakat)
This lecture surveys the evolution of the "Hurufiyya" movement (the use of Arabic calligraphy in modern and contemporary art) in the Arab world since its beginning in the late forties till now.

Practising Calligraphy
(Wissam Shawkat)
This workshop demonstrates Arabic calligraphy, the classic tools and materials, paper, ink, and the basic rules of the art and allows attendees to actively participate in the creative process.

COFFEE BREAK