Julian Raby will be presenting in the Museum Conversations Seminar on Wednesday, March 23 at 6 pm. His talk is entitled “From Temple of the Arts to Theatre of the Imagination.”

Julian Raby is The Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art. He received his doctorate in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford where he subsequently joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies, serving as its chair (1993-95). Since moving to Washington in 2002, Raby has supervised over forty special exhibitions at the Freer|Sackler, and under his leadership a number of exhibitions have traveled worldwide. Raby is the author of numerous papers, articles, and books, including Venice, Dürer and the Oriental Mode(1982), Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey (London, 1989), and Qajar Portraits(London, 1999). At Oxford, he was the series founder and series editor of Oxford Studies in Islamic Art, and for the British Institute of Archaeology and History in Amman, Jordan, Raby served as the monographs editor (1991-93). He is also the founder and former co-owner of Azimuth Editions, a major publisher in the field of Asian studies. Raby has served as a member of the Council of the British Institute of Archaeology and History in Amman, Jordan, and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is a Socio Straniero of the Accademia Veneta, a fellow of the Academia Europea, a Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator (Portugal), and honorary member of the International Committee for Congress of Turkish Arts.

At Bard Graduate Center, Raby will discuss the implications of a shift in the paradigm of museum displays that elevates the emotional impact of the objects and relies less on traditional taxonomies. This shift reflects a potential change from the museum as a purveyor of information to a site of inspiration and provocation.