Dr Alain George is the IM Pei Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of Oxford’s Khalili Research Centre and Wolfson College and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. His research, for which he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2010, encompasses several intersecting themes. He is currently preparing a book on Qur’anic manuscripts and religious books in The al-Sabah Collection. He is also working on a book about the Great Mosque of Damascus.
A Brief History of Arabic Calligraphy Through The al-Sabah Collection
Calligraphy was one of the earliest art forms developed by Muslims: its cornerstones were laid as early as the first century after the hijra, during the Umayyad caliphate, giving script a visual sophistication largely unprecedented in the Mediterranean and Iranian worlds. In this lecture, based primarily on objects from the Al-Sabah Collection, we will glimpse at the main lines of these developments in core regions of the Islamic world and further afield, from West Africa to China.