Talk on Islamic arts by Dr Sussan Babaie goes online
A talk about our ‘Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld’ touring exhibition which was due to take place at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford is now going online
The talk – ‘Sensory Experience in Islamic Arts’ – by Dr Sussan Babaie, who is Reader of the Arts of Iran and Islam at The Courtauld and was the President of the Historians of Islamic Art Association between 2017 and 2019, was first due to take place in February but on this occasion had to be postponed due to Storm Ciara. It then had to be put on hold for a second time due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The live online talk will be delivered via Zoom on Sunday 7 June at 2pm and will highlight the remarkable pieces of Islamic metalwork from The Courtauld Gallery’s collection, many dating from the 13th to the 16th centuries, including some of the finest examples of this intricate art from modern-day Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
The Courtauld Gallery’s small but renowned collection of Islamic metalwork was formed by one of the great Victorian art collectors, Thomas Gambier Parry (1816- 1888), to complement his acquisitions of precious medieval and early Renaissance paintings and decorative arts, with which they are normally displayed.
Many of the best pieces in the collection have been on permanent display in The Courtauld Gallery since their bequest in 1966, and only a few pieces have ever been on loan before. The metalwork has been cleaned and conserved for the first time since the bequest was made, over fifty years ago.
The most spectacular piece in the collection is the Courtauld Bag, made in Mosul, present-day northern Iraq, for a noble lady of the Persian-Mongol court, around 1300 – 1330. It is recognised as one of the finest pieces of Islamic inlaid metalwork in existence, and is the only surviving object of its kind.
The talk by Dr Sussan Babaie, who is best known for her extensive research on Persian and Islamic art and architecture of the early modern period, is free and explores the origin and cultural context of these extraordinary objects, as well as offering an opportunity to learn more about a fascinating area of the arts of Islam.
The Courtauld Gallery’s temporary closure, as part of our ‘Courtauld Connects’ transformation project, has created the opportunity to share these stunning and precious pieces from our collection with museums around the country.
The tour of Islamic Metalwork is organised in collaboration with the Subject Specialist Network (SSN) in Islamic Art and Material Culture at Birmingham Museums Trust and is supported by Art Fund.