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)


Semester 3: Contemporary Art and Collecting in the Middle East

The final strand of IESA programme on the Arts of the Islamic Region covers Contemporary Art of the Islamic world, its markets, geography and distribution. Students will learn about the development of the contemporary art scene, the emergence of the art market, patronage and collecting across the Middle East. 

How does art in the region merge tradition and modernity, local and global, political and personal, and how are these patterns reflected in the artists’ choice of subject matter and medium? How is conceptual language translated and perceived by the audience both at home and abroad? 

The strand will explore the growing art scene and the simultaneous explosion of the art market centred mainly around Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. The rise of new collectors, both locally and internationally, and the renaissance of art patronage in these vast and anything but homogenous regions are all topics to be covered in this final series of lectures.



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.


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



iesa logo



Silk Room View

Open daily except Tuesdays
10am - 5.30pm
12 Holland Park Road
London W14 8LZ