This interdisciplinary project financed by the British Academy and the Trinity College Dublin, focuses on four monumental wooden ceilings from the Torrijos palace, near Toledo. These ceilings were created in the 1490s by craftsmen working with Islamic techniques and styles, demonstrating how Islamic artistic features were assimilated to a new Gothic taste in late medieval Spain. Dispersed in the early 20th century, the ceilings are now in museums in London, Madrid, the Loire and San Francisco.
Taking advantage of plans to redisplay the London ceiling at the new branch of the V&A East in Stratford, East London, the project has brought together an interdisciplinary and international group of experts to ask questions about materials, craftsmanship patronage and dispersal of the ceilings. Through a series of workshops, site visits and academic and public engagement events, this project offers an opportunity to rethink the legacy of Islamic art in Europe. We will introduce the scope, potential and aims of the project, outline our initial findings and discuss our strategies for reaching audiences beyond the academy.