David Roxburgh will be coming to speak at the Ravi and Seran Trehan Lectures in Islamic Art and Material Culture on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. His talk is entitled “Baysunghur’s Garden Party and Other Tales: Conceptualizing Artistic and Cultural Production in Early Timurid Herat.”

David Roxburgh is the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, where he has been teaching since 1996. He also taught at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, as a visiting professor in 2003. Roxburgh received an M.A. in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh and an M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Prefacing the Image: The Writing of Art History in Sixteenth-Century Iran (Leiden: Brill, 2001) and The Persian Album, 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). Roxburgh has also worked as a curator on the exhibitions Turks: A Journey of A Thousand Years, 600-1600 (Royal Academy of Art, London, 2005) and Traces of the Calligrapher: Islamic Calligraphy in Practice, c. 1600-1900 (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2007-2008; Asia Society, New York, 2008-2009; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University 2010). His articles take a variety of approaches to the study of aesthetics, art and culture of the book, history of collections, and written sources.

The artistic and literary activities of Baysunghur (d. 1433)—son of Shahrukh, grandson of Timur—as both patron and practitioner have long been recognized as models of excellence. Contemporaries and later rulers and princes emulated Baysunghur’s model of courtly patronage, especially his bibliophilism, but also fashioned an image of the prince as Maecenas through a rich corpus of written texts that include histories, biographies, and album prefaces. The effects of a physical, material legacy only seemed to confirm the written sources without much criticism of a model of production that assumed Baysunghur’s direct agency in the shaping and formation of a cultural program. The lecture reviews the various forms of evidence about cultural and artistic production in Herat from the 1420s to early 1430s and sets Baysunghur’s activities within a wider political context.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.