Dr. David Stronach, University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus of Near Eastern art and archaeology, kicks off the museum’s new Perspectives on Persian Art lecture series with a talk about the influence of traditional Persian gardens in Asia and Europe.
If one had the money, one could acquire an ever-increasing quantity and variety of European goods and luxury wares in 17th-century Isfahan, including Italian velvet, London cloth and handbags, faux pearls and gold clocks. How were these European imports worn and displayed? What did they signify in the increasingly cosmopolitan city of Isfahan, a city referred to as “half the world” by its inhabitants? Dr. Amy Landau will delve into these questions about the social context of European luxury objects in 17 century Persia.
Stories of the prophets from the Old and New Testaments have had a long history of illustration in Islamic painting traditions. Drawing from accounts in the Qur’an and other sources in Islamic literature, scholars, poets, historians and storytellers developed new texts on the lives of the prophets. These texts were often accompanied by paintings. Dr. Robert Hillenbrand will explore the richness of some of these literary and artistic traditions.