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Marcus Milwright

April 16 - May 4, 2012

Project Title: Combining Text and Artefact in the Study and Display of Syrian Art of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

Project Abstract: Syrian metalwork, glass, and architectural woodwork of the Late Ottoman-French Mandate period in the collection of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art will form part of a case study which will explore ways of expanding the contextual information (social, economic and cultural) provided in museum displays of Islamic artefacts dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. The principal text employed in this study is the Qāmaūs al-Sināʿāt al-Shāmiyya (Dictionary of the Damascene Crafts), a comprehensive list of the crafts of the Syrian capital, compiled between c. 1891 and 1905/06. Other written and photographic sources of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century will also be consulted. I will explore the correlations between these sources and the physical artefacts, and suggest ways in which the study and display of later Islamic craftsmanship can be enhanced through a fuller consideration of the urban environment and historical context.

Dr. Marcus Milwright is associate professor in the Department of History in Art, University of Victoria. His research interests include the art and archaeology of the Islamic Middle East, labour and craft practices in the urban environment, cross-cultural contacts, Ottoman architecture in Greece, and the history of medicine. His publications include The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1650) (Brill 2008) and An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology (Edinburgh University Press, 2010).

See Marcus Milwright’s Lecture and Scholar Favorites video clip.

See Marcus Milwright's Working Paper

Each of the four scholars selected by a juried review process in 2012 pursued research projects on the following theme: "Beyond "Decline" and Before "Modern": Later Islamic Art, c. 1722-1940."

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