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Seeing Isfahan: Perspectives on the Safavid Image

Friday, 27 May – Saturday, 28 May 2022

Seeing Isfahan: Perspectives on the Safavid Image

Designed to enhance the current exhibition at the Chester Beatty, the in-person academic conference Seeing Isfahan, Perspectives on the Safavid Image will examine an illuminating cross-section of visual and intellectual culture in Isfahan. A programme of twelve speakers will present new research that asks how Safavid identity was visualised in early modern Iran.


This conference is presented by Dr Moya Carey (Chester Beatty) and Dr Anna McSweeney (TCD). Organised by the Chester Beatty and Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute. Held in association with the Chester Beatty exhibition Meeting in Isfahan: Vision and Exchange in Safavid Iran

Friday 27 May,  Trinity Long Room Hub

KEYNOTE: Massumeh Farhad, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 
Towards a New Pictorial Language: Painting and Patronage in Seventeenth-Century Iran
(The keynote will be available live online and in-person)

11:00-11:20 Coffee

Session 1: New Sensations: Taste and Vision
11:20-12:00 | Sussan Babaie. The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
Art, food, and the emergence of a cuisine

12:00-12:40 | Farshid Emami, Rice University
Space, Time, and Vision in Late Safavid Paintings

12:40-13:40 Break for lunch
Session 2: Translations: Occult Science, Antiquity, and Language

13:40-14:20 | Matthew Melvin-Koushki, University of South Carolina
Philosophy, Amuletry, and Talismanic Cities: Isfahan as Timurid-Safavid Occult Capital

14:20-15:00 | Lindsay Allen, King’s College London
The Dimensions of Antiquity in Safavid Iran

15:00-15:40 | Ladan Niayesh, Université Paris Cité
The Lives and Times of Thomas Herbert’s Persian Glossary (1634, 1638, 1664)

15:40-16:00 Tea

Session 3: Burning and Melting: Binding, Imitation, and Gender
16:00-16:40 | Kristine Rose-Beers ACR, Head of Conservation, Chester Beatty
Pressure Tooled and Soft Textile: Diverse Bindings from a Cosmopolitan City

16:40-17:20 | Michael Chagnon, Curator, Aga Khan Museum; Assistant Professor (status-only), Department of Art History, University of Toronto
CBL T 433: A Treasury of Innovation

17:20-18:00 | Negar Habibi, University of Geneva
Fifty Shades of Womanhood: Female representations in Safavid Isfahan

Saturday 28 May, TCD Long Room Hub

09:45-10:00 Coffee

Session 4: City Careers: Painters and Patronage Options in Isfahan
10:00-10:40 | Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty
Reza `Abbasi’s narrative work in the Book of Kings (CBL Per 277)

10:40-11:20 | Quentin Arnoux, University of Geneva
Searching for patrons and inspiration: Mu`in Musavvir and his artistic journey in the streets of Isfahan

11:20-12:00 | Amy Landau, Fowler Museum, UCLA
Muhammad Zaman and Technologies of the Image

12:00-12:30 Round Table


Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice, Manuscript, Book and Print Culture
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Conferences, Exhibits, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Special events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Researchers, Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free (but registration is essential)

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