This one-day symposium will accompany the exhibition of Doris Duke’s collection of Islamic art, which will be on display at the University of Michigan Museum of Art from January to May 2014. The show exhibits Islamic art of the pre-modern period along with its reception, collection, and revival during the 19th and 20th centuries. The symposium aims to shed further light on the many ways in which collectors, scholars, artists, and architects have encountered Islamic artistic traditions during the modern period. Speakers will explore how “Islamic” art was defined and received in both European (French, British, German, and Greek) and American museum and academic contexts, as well as revived for a variety of nation-building purposes in Islamic lands today. Taken altogether, these presentations highlight how Islamic art—as a constructed scholarly discipline and corpus of selected objects—must be considered a global phenomenon that has been constructed through the efforts of various artistic entrepreneurs at the same time as it has been entangled in the cultural politics of Colonialism, Orientalism, and globalization over the course of the past two centuries.
This conference is organized by UMMA and UM Associate Professor of Islamic Art Christiane Gruber.
The exhibition Doris Duke's Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art was organized by The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which is also providing generous support for its presentation at UMMA and national tour. Additional lead support for UMMA’s installation is provided by the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan Office of the President. Other generous support is provided by the Monroe-Brown Foundation Discretionary Fund for Outreach to the State of Michigan, the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund, and the University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies, CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, Department of the History of Art, Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Institute for the Humanities, Islamic Studies Program, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.