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Report from the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History Research Center

“Patterns of Islamic Art” at the O’Donnell Institute Research Center at the Dallas Museum of Art, 2017, photograph by Carolyn Brown

 

We are excited to welcome everyone to join us this fall for our scholarly programs in the Research Center. Upon her completion of the first English-language translations of Paul Gauguin’s seven texts, UTD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Elpida Vouitsis discussed on August 29th how Gauguin’s writing style successfully communicates the duality of meaning in his artworks. In November our fellows have the special opportunity to visit the recent installation of Keir Collection objects with Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir. Our semester will conclude with a workshop by one of our new PhD fellows, Edleeca Thompson. Her research examines the myriad of ways museums display African art collections and how these design decisions effect interpretation.

The Research Center will host two new exhibitions this fall: Patterns in Islamic Art and Maya Trade and the Ulúa River Regions. I’ve curated a selection of Carolyn Brown’s photographs of Islamic architecture in the Middle East. Her images beautifully capture the nonfigural design elements in Islamic art: geometric, vegetal, and calligraphic. Patterns repeat and intertwine in colorful tiles on mosque façades and delicate stained glass that decorate intimate interiors. Our fourth vitrine installation, curated by DMA Curator Dr. Kimberly Jones, displays small ceramic vessels from the Ulúa region in Honduras. Despite their diminutive size, these objects were bound up in networks of trade and exchange throughout the Classic Maya kingdoms.

The Research Center promises to be a lively center of scholarly activity this fall with a new group of fellows from around the globe. We look forward to the coming year and welcome you to our many Fall programs. Visit our website at https://utdallas.edu/arthistory/programs/ and plan your calendar!

Lauren LaRocca

Coordinator of Special Programs

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History