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Discover and handle objects that talk about beauty, pleasure and wonder.

The expression of pleasure around beautiful objects is an integral part of Islamic culture. Drawing upon her vast experience in Islamic art and culture, Doris Abouseif brings together a variety of perspectives from throughout history on the aesthetic significance of artefacts, both in the religious and secular context.

The Islamic world abounds with delight and admiration for arts and artefacts, from the monuments of antiquity to contemporary architecture, and from diplomatic gifts and exotica to the objects of daily use.

Abouseif will also explore the role of poetry composed in praise of artefacts, with reverential texts often inscribed on to objects themselves.

This event is part of Converging Paths 2020, organised by Asia House and The Barakat Trust, and with the support of The Altajir Trust. We also thank the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for their support.

About Professor Doris Behrens Abouseif

Professor Doris Abouseif is a world authority on the art and architecture of the Islamic world. She is the former Nasser D Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. She has been a visiting professor at a range of leading international universities, including Harvard, Bamberg, Berlin, and the American University in Cairo. Her vast range of publications spans the early Islamic period all the way up to the 19th century. Through her work on the study of art and architecture, and her extensive knowledge of medieval chronicles, she has made substantial contributions to the meanings of what we refer to as ‘Islamic Art’.

This event is part of the series Converging Paths, a year-long series of events curated for 2020, and organised in partnership by Asia House and The Barakat Trust. With this series we aim to engage audiences in challenging cultural misconceptions about the Islamic world, building bridges between communities and highlighting the importance of the arts of that region. We aim to provide wider access, combining digital platforms and curated cultural programmes that appeal to adults and families. We also thank the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and The Altajir Trust for their support.

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