21 January 2009

VCUQatar Presents Textiles of the Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar’s Gallery Director and Assistant Professor in Art History, Dr. Jochen Sokoly will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Threads of History: Textiles of the Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates’. The event is open to the public on January 28 at 7:30PM.

The lecture focuses on a group of inscribed textiles from Egypt and the Central Islamic lands commonly known as tiraz textiles. The term tiraz, although subject to some scholarly debate, refers to an inscription that contains historical content referring to an official commission by an Islamic ruler or one of his representatives. It usually lists the name of the ruler, and his titles, as well as administrative information relating to the object’s manufacture. It is the historical content of these textile inscriptions which makes them a valuable resource for historical research into the Caliphal administration of the early Islamic period. Apart from the content of the inscriptions, this group of textiles is significant archaeologically, as it offers a glimpse into the burial practices of the early Islamic period in Egypt.

“I am very honored to have been given the opportunity at VCUQatar to present my research to the general public in Doha and I hope that this might inspire students to pursue the study f Islamic Art History,” commented Dr. Sokoly.

Dr. Jochen Sokoly received his doctorate in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford where he specialized in the History of Islamic Art and Architecture. He has been a research fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, London. Dr. Sokoly has worked as a UNESCO curatorial consultant for the Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait National Museum, Kuwait and he is preparing the publication of the museum’s collection of early Islamic textiles. He has organized a number of exhibitions and lectures while at his current post at VCUQatar.

The lecture is open to the public and will be presented on January 28, 2009 at 7:30 PM at the atrium in VCUQatar.

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