The Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art is the leading international conference on Islamic art and architecture. The symposium is co-sponsored by VCUarts, VCUarts Qatar and the Qatar Foundation and has been held every two years since 2004. It is chaired by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom who share the Hamad Bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Since its establishment in 2004, the HBK Symposium has:
- Attracted over 2,200 attendees from every continent;
- Hosted over 70 speakers, including the leading scholars, curators and practitioners of Islamic art;
- Enabled over 60 scholars of Islamic art and culture to come to the Symposium as an HBK Fellow, all travel expenses paid;
- Generated the publication of six books, published by Yale University Press, which gather the talks presented at each Symposium since 2007;
- Been downloaded in the form of free podcasts from our website over 10,000 times since 2010.
Past Symposia include:
- Expanded Frontiers, Richmond, Virginia (2004)
- Rivers of Paradise: Water in Islamic Art and Culture, Doha, Qatar (2007)
- And Diverse Are Their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture, Cordoba, Spain (2009)
- God Is Beautiful and Loves Beauty: The Object in Islamic Art and Culture, Doha, Qatar (2011)
- God Is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth: Light in Islamic Art and Culture, Palermo, Italy (2013)
- By the Pen and What They Write: Writing in Islamic Art and Culture, Doha, Qatar (2015)
- Islamic Art: Past, Present, and Future, Richmond, Virginia (2017)