Dr Francesca Leoni is Assistant Keeper and Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, associated faculty in the oriental studies and history of art departments at the University of Oxford and associate researcher at the Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East also in Oxford. Prior to the Ashmolean, she held research, teaching, and curatorial positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rice University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Educated in Naples, Italy (BA, Istituto Universitario Orientale) and Princeton (MA and PhD), Dr Leoni’s research interests are broad and include the visual and material dimensions of Islamic mysticism, Persian arts, eroticism in Islamic art and, more recently, divination and the occult sciences in the Islamic tradition. In 2016 she curated the exhibition “Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural” at the Ashmolean Museum, whose catalogue was supported by the Barakat Trust.