In 2004, Richmond held its first major international conference on Islamic Art. Since then, the conference has been held in Qatar, Spain and Italy. Next fall, it will be returning to Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Nov. 2 through Nov. 4.
“Islamic Art: Past, Present and Future” is sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, VCUarts Qatar and the Qatar Foundation. The Thursday through Saturday event will feature opening remarks by “her excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani,” the chairperson of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute and Qatar Leadership, and a “proponent of the arts as a catalyst for education, dialogue and exchange,” according to a press release.
Co-chairs Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom issued a joint statement to Style:
“Many Americans today have come to associate Islam with terrorism and war, but the Hamad bin Khalifa Symposia are designed to showcase the long traditions of art and culture in the Muslim world. This year’s event in Richmond focuses on the artistic relationships between the past, the present, and the future, bringing together museum curators, collectors, artists, and academics. As always, the symposia will make the latest research accessible to the broadest possible audience, ranging from specialized students and scholars to the general public.”
The symposia will be open to the public, though registration is $10 per day. All programs will take place in the Cheek Theater, VMFA, 200 N. Boulevard. Visit islamicartdoha.org to get more info or register.
The conference will feature 13 of the leading scholars, curators and artists of Islamic art and architecture. The event will include a number of presentations addressing “how Islamic art engages with contemporary politics, global capitalism, gender, religion and history — and how Western museums have approached collecting and curating the arts of the Islamic world,” per the release.
Here’s a list of additional artists and speakers that will be appearing at the conference from the release:
Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan Al-Hashemi of Jordan, a pioneer in establishing important collections of contemporary art of the Islamic world. In Jordan she founded the Royal Society of Fine Arts (1979), the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts (1980), the Higher Institute of Islamic Art and Architecture at Al Al-Bait University, Jordan (1992), and the College of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan (2002).
Shahzia Sikander a Pakistani-American artist and MacArthur Fellow best known for contemporizing the traditional Indo-Persian discipline of miniature painting and causing a transnational resurgence in the art form. Her work can be seen in museums around the world including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art. Sikander is the recipient of many prestigious awards including a Medal of Art from the US State Department.
Originally published on www.styleweekly.com