An Introduction to the Arts of Islam
Monday 9 – Thursday 12 September 2019
This course introduces students to the arts and architecture of the Islamic world, which has been a burgeoning area of interest for scholarship, museums, galleries, auction houses and collectors.
From Spain to India, from monumental buildings such as the Dome of the Rock to the Taj Mahal, and from luxury objects of utility (such as ceramics, metalwork, glass and textiles) to paintings and the arts of the book, each lecture and museum visit spotlights a defining aspect of the study of the arts in the cultures of Islam.
We shall explore the arts from the birth of Islam in the seventh century, through the ‘Golden Ages’ of the Medieval period and rocky ‘modernities’, to the present day. In challenging the preconceptions that surround ‘Islamic Art’ today, this course addresses the unique social and political contexts that surround the often much misunderstood art of the Islamic world.
Morning lectures will be followed by afternoon visits exploring the rich holdings of Islamic Art in London’s public museums and galleries, including those at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the magnificent Albukhary Gallery of the Islamic World at the British Museum.
Natasha Morris is currently Myojin-Nadar Project Curator – Modern Middle East Art at the British Museum and an Associate Lecturer in the Arts of Islam and Iran at The Courtauld. An alumna of The Courtauld (BA and MA), she has also taught at UCL, and has written for a number of publications on the arts of Iran including The Guardian, The Burlington Magazine and Time Out. Natasha is the author of a number of exhibition catalogues on contemporary artists from the Middle East and was co-author of Honar: The Afkhami Collection of Modern and Contemporary Iranian Art (Phaidon, 2017). Her current doctoral studies at The Courtauld (completion due in the spring of 2019) focus on images of masculinity in Qajar Iran (1789-1925).