IESA LECTURE SERIES “COLLECTING & DISPLAY OF THE ARTS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD” organized in partnership with Leighton House Museum

Alcove in Arab Hall




Join us for weekly sessions of IESA's new programme devoted to the history of Western appreciation and communication of Islamic art and culture.

Set in the surroundings of the extraordinary Leighton House Museum, this series of lectures offers a whole new approach to the studies of Islamic Art. Instead of presenting its chronological and stylistic evolution as done in more traditional courses, the programme presents the history of inter-relationships between East and West from the medieval period to the contemporary art market.

Taught over three consecutive semesters, the programme explores the history of collecting of arts of the Islamic world in the West, the presentation of Islamic Art in museums and collections both historically and today, and finally the contemporary art scene in the region.

The lecture series at Leighton House is supported by day trips and visits to museum collections, galleries and auction houses. Presented by leading scholars and professionals in the field, our lectures have attracted both general public with keen interest and curiousity about the Arts of the Islamic world, and specialists working in the field.

AUTUMN SEMESTER: The Collecting of Islamic Art in the West (30/9 - 2/12)

WINTER SEMESTER The Aesthetics and Display of Islamic Art (20/1 - 17/3)

SPRING SEMESTER Contemporary Art and its Markets (14/4 - 16/6)



The lectures are given by leading experts in Islamic art and culture, including Valérie Gonzalez (writer and lecturer, PhD at University of Aix-en-Provence), Rebecca Bridgeman (Curator of Islamic and South Asian Arts at Birmingham Museums), Edward Gibbs (Head of Middle East and India department at Sotheby’s), William Greenwood (Curator of Metalwork, Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar), Daniel Robbins (Senior Curator at Leighton House Museum), Mercedes Volait (Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), and others.



The Aesthetics and Display of Islamic Art (20/1 - 17/3)

The second semester of our year-long lecture series concentrates on the aesthetic principles underlying the different modes of visual expression in Islamic Art including ornament, geometry, calligraphy, figurative representation and the making of objects of material culture. Firstly, the sessions will examine the artistic forces, cultural patterns and creative principles of Islamic visuality throughout time and space, as seen in architecture, glass, ceramics, metalwork and painting from the region. Secondly, the course will explore issues of communication and display, and the different meanings given to Islamic art in cultural institutions inside and outside the Muslim context.

The course comprises 8 study days and one day of visits.


You can attend the whole semester or individual sessions.  For further information, please visit the website or contact Aliya Sayakhova at a.sayakhova@iesa.edu



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