Guest Lecture and Tour Series
Change of Program
Note: Due to a scheduling conflict, our originally scheduled speaker Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir will be unable to appear. We are fortunate that Dr. Linda Komaroff has agreed to speak instead.
Speaker: Linda Komaroff, Ph.D, Curator and Department Head, Art of the Middle East, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Linda Komaroff has served as LACMA’s curator of Islamic art since 1995. Her past exhibitions at LACMA include The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353 (2003); A Tale of Two Persian Carpets (2009); and Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts (2011). The latter was the first major exhibition on Islamic art organized by an American institution to travel to the Middle East, to the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (2012), where she was the guest curator. Her exhibition of highlights from LACMA’s permanent collection of Islamic art recently opened at the new King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Among her contemporary exhibitions are: Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East, Part 1 (2015) and Part 2 (2016). Combining historical and contemporary art, her current exhibition for LACMA, In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art, will open May 6, 2018.
She is the author or editor of several books and exhibition catalogues, and has written numerous articles and book chapters on various aspects of Islamic art with a special focus on Iran. She is the recipient of a number of grants for scholarly research, including two Fulbright fellowships, and Metropolitan Museum of Art and Getty fellowships, while the Legacy of Genghis Khan exhibition catalogue received the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award from the College Art Association and Gifts of the Sultan received the Annual Publication Prize for Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue from the Association of Art Museum Curators and the Twentieth World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She has taught at Hamilton College, New York University, and UCLA. She was closely involved with LACMA’s acquisition of the Madina Collection of Islamic Art in 2002, which, in combination with the museum’s existing collection of Islamic art, gives Los Angeles one of the most significant collections worldwide; in 2006 she began to acquire and exhibit contemporary art of the Middle East, placing LACMA’s collection at the forefront of American museums.
In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art (May 6–September 9, 2018)
LACMA’s In the Fields of Empty Days is a groundbreaking exhibition of both historical and contemporary Iranian works that highlight ways in which artists have used and continue to use the past as a metaphor for the present day. This notion is revealed in art and literature in which ancient kings and heroes are used in later contexts as examples of virtue or as objects of derision, while long-gone Shi‘ite saints are evoked as champions of the poor and the oppressed. This lecture will go behind the scenes to look at the concepts that shaped the exhibition; it will also consider how the exhibition may transform existing ideas about Iranian art.
Read more about her exhibition here
See the full list of speakers for the 2017-18 Guest Lecture and Tour Series.
This lecture series focuses on works of art on view in the Museum and topics of interest in the broader art world. Lectures are followed by docent-led tours.