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Islamic Art Symposium 2018

Intersections: the Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism is an innovative Islamic Art Symposium in Texas to
be jointly hosted by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the Islamic Art Revival Series, and the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States, in partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Islamic Art Symposium will take place from May 4 – May 5, 2018.

Friday, May 4 9:30AM – 6:30PM at the  Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas (800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080)

Saturday, May 5 11:00AM-5:00PM at the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201)

This Symposium is the first major academic symposium to investigate art of various media (architecture, painting, textiles, calligraphy, photography and music) born of contact between Islamic and non-Islamic societies. Papers and presentations will address artworks from a wide temporal (eighth century to present) as well as geographic (North Africa, Europe, Middle East, Central and South Asia) scope. Bringing this diverse range of visual cultures into conversation highlights the cosmopolitanism, plurality, cultural receptivity, and centrality of art that has characterized Islamic cultures from the foundations of the faith.

Tickets: $10 General Admission, $5 Student/Educator

Purchase May 4 tickets here. May 5 tickets here.*

*Please note: One ticket purchased for either symposium day covers both days*



Opening Day May 4, at the Eugene McDermott Library, at UTDallas in Richardson will feature Dr. Jonathan Bloomas the keynote speaker. Dr Bloom shares the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair in Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University with his wife and colleague, Sheila Blair. Prize-winning author, co-author, and editor of some two dozen books and hundreds of articles on all aspects of Islamic art and architecture, he has specialized in the Islamic art and architecture of the Mediterranean region and the history of paper in the Islamic lands.

Participating scholars include Alia El Sandouby, Amyn Sajoo, Bahman Panahi, Cathleen Fleck, Chanchal Dadlani, Alicia Walker, Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpagh, Manela Ceballos, Marcus Milwright, Mika Natif, Saleema Waraich, and William Tronzo.


The May 5 program, at the Dallas Museum of Art the Symposium will feature renowned artist Shahzia Sikander on “her multicultural past and our future” (excerpt from Op-Ed published in LA Times, March 26, 2016) as the keynote speaker. Sikander has received many prestigious awards including the Asian Society Award of Significant Contribution to Contemporary Art and the Inaugural Medal of Art from the US Department of State (AIE) Washington D.C.

A full day of programs include a scholarly panel on Modern and Contemporary Islamic Art and presentation by Jason Moriyama, a Senior Partner with Moriyama and Teshima Architects in Canada on Architectural Intersections: towards dialog and understanding.

Presenting scholars include Jenifer Pruitt, Michelle Craig, Nada Shabout, and Vivek Gupta.

From 2-4PM, guided tours of the Keir Collection will be offered.


Tickets: $10 General Admission, $5 Student/Educator

Purchase May 4 tickets here. May 5 tickets here.*

*Please note: One ticket purchased for either symposium day covers both days*




Islamic Art Revival Series
The Islamic Art Revival Series (IARS) is a program of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, designed to increase awareness and build bridges of cultural understanding through the arts. Started in 2011 by a cross-cultural coalition of businesses and nonprofit leaders, students and small business owners, the IARS includes a diverse group of women and men, who are passionate about sharing the rich cultural relevance of Islamic Art and to enhancing cross-cultural understanding.

Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History is a center for innovative research and graduate education in the history of art. Research and teaching at the O’Donnell Institute embrace a global history of art that ranges across geography, chronology, and medium. The first art history research institute founded in the digital age, the O’Donnell Institute explores in particular the intersection between the visual arts and the sciences and technology. As a center for the growing community of art historians, curators, and practicing artists in Dallas and Fort Worth, they are dedicated to intellectual creativity, exchange, and collaboration in the form of lectures and symposia, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations with area institutions.

Aga Khan Council for the Central United States
The Aga Khan Council serves as the social governance body of the Ismaili Muslim community and is appointed to enhance the quality of life of its members so that they contribute to fabric of the larger society. Giving of one’s competence, sharing one’s time, material or intellectual wherewithal with those among whom one lives, for the relief of hardship, pain or ignorance is a deeply ingrained tradition which shapes the social conscience of the Ismaili Muslim community. In this regard, the Aga Khan Council organizes many programs and collaborates with various organizations to create opportunities for dialogue around the themes of knowledge society, civic
engagement, community service, diversity & pluralism, and art & culture.

Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is a space of wonder and discovery where art comes alive. It was established in 1909 and has since placed art and diverse communities at the center around which all activities radiate. The Museum pursues excellence in collecting and programming, presents works of art across cultures and time, and is a driving force in contemporary art. They have strengthened their position as a prominent, innovative institution, expanding the meaning and possibilities of learning and creativity.