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LAPADA EVENT TO BRING A TOUCH OF THE SUPERNATURAL
On Friday 16th September, Francesca Leoni, Yousef Jameel Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean, will be presenting the fair's headline lecture, focusing on divinatory arts practiced in medieval and early modern Muslim societies.
The lecture serves as a precursor to the forthcoming exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, entitled: 'Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural', from 20th October 2016 until 15 January 2017.
Francesca will be sharing her fascinating and unique insights into practices spanning the C12th to C20th, from Morocco to China. Areas include dream interpretation, astrology, bibliomancy, geomancy, physiognomy, and the associated practices of amulet-making. She will also be highlighting some of the stunning works of art to be featured at the Ashmolean exhibition, exploring and examining their cultural and social roles.
Amulet in the shape of the “hand of Fatima”, possibly Hyderabad, India, C18th-C19th
Astrolabe, signed by Khalil Muhammad b. Hasan, circa 1700
Gold enameled set made for the Fath ‘Ali Shah Qajar, signed Muhammad Baqir. Iran, early C19th.
Mieka Sywak, LAPADA Fair Director, comments: “We feel privileged to collaborate with our Cultural Partner, the Ashmolean Museum, in bringing the accomplished scholar, Francesca Leoni, to share her research on this fascinating subject with our visitors.”
The Ashmolean, Oxford University's museum of art and archaeology, is the world's oldest public museum, opening in 1683. It boasts the largest collection of drawings by Raphael and the greatest Chinese collection in the West.
Francesca Leoni, Yousef Jameel Curator of Islamic Art, Ashmolean Museum
Francesca is a specialist in Islamic manuscripts. Having earned her doctorate from Princeton University in New Jersey, she has held research and curatorial posts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Rice University in Texas, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
She says: “Showcasing over a hundred spectacular objects, Power and Protection is the first major exhibition to explore the supernatural in the art of the Islamic world. It will be a wonderful opportunity to see objects of breath-taking quality and astonishing scale, many of which have never been seen in public.”