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A Passion for Tiles with Dr Melanie Gibson

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Islamic tiles with foliage in blue, green and white, Arab Hall at Leighton House.

Event Information


11 October 2021 / Weekly on Monday


2pm to 4.30pm (2 hrs 30 mins) every session

£200 per person (for the full series)

Course Details

Join specialist Dr Melanie Gibson as she takes you on a journey of exploration and celebration, sharing her passion for tiles.

Across four online sessions, you will develop and deepen your knowledge and understanding of early Islamic tiles, the tiles of Iznik and Damascus, tiles of Iran, and tiles created in the nineteenth century by English companies and makers including William de Morgan.

Each week includes an in focus spotlight which looks in detail at tiles in Leighton House, such as the lively and animated storytelling of the fishing panel and the enigmatic grace of the Isfahan tiles. 

Capacity for this course is limited to guarantee  all attendees have full interaction with Dr Gibson. Book your place early to avoid disappointment.

Week 1: Introduction

Monday 11 October 2pm to 4.30pm (BST)

  • Introduction
  • A survey of tiles in architecture across the world 
  • Spotlight on early Islamic tiles

Week 2: Tiles of Iznik and Damascus 

Monday 18 October 2pm to 4.30pm  (BST)

  • Tiles in Istanbul 
  • Tiles in Damascus 
  • Spotlight on the fishing panel in the Arab Hall 

Week 3: Tiles of Iran 

Monday 25 October 2pm to 4.30pm  (BST)

  • Lustre tiles of the Mongol period 
  • Tiles in Safavid Isfahan 
  • Spotlight on the Isfahan tile in the Arab Hall 

Week 4: The tiles of the Arab Hall

Monday 1 November 2pm to 4.30pm  (GMT)

  • ‘Persian’ tiles made by English tile companies in the 19th century
  • The Arab Hall 
  • Spotlight on William de Morgan 


About Dr Melanie Gibson

Melanie Gibson is Executive Trustee of the Gingko Library and Editor of the Gingko Art Series. She convenes the Islamic Art module of the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS and was formerly head of the Art History department at New College of the Humanities, London. Since 2005 she has lectured on the ceramics and glass of the Islamic world for SOAS, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Courtauld Institute and the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar. Her research focuses on the ceramics and glass of the Islamic world as well as the reception and use of Islamic pattern in 19th-century British design. Her most recent publication is a chapter on the ceramics of Iran in Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands (Yale, 2019).


Please contact with any enquiries about this event.

Islamic tile featuring animals in blue and green, Arab Hall, Leighton House


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