The question of what the term “Islamic art” means is challenging. Is it even a useful term? Are there any better alternatives? The problem is particularly difficult when addressing modern and contemporary art. Does the work of art have to be made by a Muslim? Or does the artist have to come from the Middle East? Does the art have to have a religious component? Is Arabic calligraphy an essential part? Are there other features that define the term?

This symposium will grapple with these broad questions from a range of viewpoints, including scholars who use or don’t use the term to write about the art, collectors and curators who buy and exhibit it, and artists who make it.

Please join us to be part of the conversation at the 7thBiennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art, titled Islamic Art: Past, Present and Future?, November 2-4, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Symposium speakers include HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, the contemporary artists Lalla Essaydi, Shahzia Sikander and Hassan Hajjaj, and some of the leading curators, collectors and leaders in the field of contemporary Islamic art.

You’ll find the conference program here, the list of speakers here, and online registration here. Hope to see you there.