The first few years of the 21st century have witnessed an impressive re-evaluation of Islamic art and archaeology. Most of the larger collections of Islamic art have been, or still are, undergoing reorganization. Museums and galleries have increasingly become important forums for public interest in Muslim cultures. Shifting global societies and the growing presence of Muslims in Europe and North America have meant that museums of Islamic art have assumed new duties and responsibilities, willingly or not. Countries with a Muslim majority, too, are witnessing a renewed interest in the artistic heritage of the past. Yet despite all this, there has been little discussion on content, categories of order, and the new roles played by museums. What are the stories embedded in the objects they exhibit, and how can these stories be told? In this lecture delivered in Edinburgh, Scotland, in September 2012, Dr Stefan Weber, Director of the Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, presents the behind-the-scenes thinking which governed the way Islamic art has been presented to the public in the past and how this is changing for the future. Dr Weber also explores the approach being taken by his own museum, which is being redesigned to meet the needs of a rapidly-growing number of visitors.
Lecture Audio: Fragments of a Lost Past – Audio
Lecture Summary: Fragments of a Lost Past – Summary