Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Outstanding Patrons, Beautiful Objects: Metaphors for Humanism and Enlightenment

Thu, February 18, 2010 | AVAYA Auditorium (ACES 2.302)

5:00 PM

Presented by Alnoor Merchant
Head Librarian and Keeper of the Special Collections at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London

Throughout history, a most significant impetus for the development of artistic culture has been patronage. Patronage of art and architecture has been an integral element in Muslim civilizations also. In his presentation, Alnoor Merchant will discuss how patrons, by attracting celebrated artists to create vibrant and unique styles and themes, promoted an exuberant and dynamic artistic environment extending from Indonesia to Spain. He will also show how the artworks, spanning over a thousand years of history and originating from different parts of the Muslim world, have a context in the faith and history of Islam and are metaphors for humanism and enlightenment.

Alnoor Merchant is the Head Librarian and Keeper of the Special Collections at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. Since joining the Institute’s Library in 1987, Alnoor has been instrumental in developing the collections of the Library. Having obtained his MA in Islamic studies at McGill University, he subsequently completed a diploma course in Museum studies at the University of Leicester. Over the past decade, Alnoor has played an important role in identifying and acquiring important manuscripts and artworks for the Aga Khan Museum. He has curated numerous exhibitions of the Institute’s collections, as well as assisted with the exhibitions of the Aga Khan Museum’s collection hosted in Parma, London, Paris, Lisbon, Toledo, Madrid and Barcelona. He is currently working on a publication relating to the collections housed at The Institute of Ismaili Studies.

The ACES Building is labelled ACE on this map.  Parking may be found free of charge on the street, or in one of the UT garages.  The nearest garages are the Speedway Garage at 105 E 27th Street, or the San Jacinto Garage at 2401 San Jacinto Street.

Sponsored by: The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, in collaboration with His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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