There is a symbiotic relationship between design, art and visual culture, and the exact sciences, which is attested in early scientific objects from al-Andalus and in medieval Arabic texts. In this talk I explore the objects, spaces, and figures that illuminate this relationship, focusing on ‘Abbas Ibn Firnas (d. ca. 887), the celebrated polymath of the Cordoban Umayyad court, and on al-Andalus and its contemporaries between the 9th-11th centuries.
Glaire D. Anderson is a historian of Islamic art of the caliphal period, with a focus on the art and court culture of Umayyad Cordoba. She is the author of The Villa in Early Islamic Iberia (Ashgate, 2013), co-editor with Mariam Rosser-Owen of Revisiting al-Andalus (Brill, 2007), and recent articles on the Islamic west in architectural history, women and the arts of Cordoba, and material culture and caliphal sovereignty.