Lecture - Christiane Gruber, "The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions" (Rutgers University-Newark, 12 Feb)

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Christiane Gruber 
University of Michigan
The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions
Tuesday, February 12 
4 p.m. book talk | 6 p.m. conversation
Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library 
Rutgers University-Newark
This presentation explores a number of paintings of the Prophet Muhammad produced in Persian and Turkish lands from the fourteenth century to the modern day.
Ranging from veristic to abstract, these images represent Muhammad’s individual traits, primordial luminosity, and veiled essence. Their pictorial motifs reveal that artists engaged in abstract thought and turned to symbolic motifs in order to imagine Muhammad’s primordial origins and prophetic standing. In creating and gazing upon such images, artists and viewers also were inspired by various mystical beliefs and practices, including devotional invocation, in the process seeking to express their piety through both verbal and pictorial language. Within a variety of Islamic expressive cultures, paintings thus have functioned as a powerful means for devotional engagement with Muhammad, the “praiseworthy” Prophet and Messenger of Islam.
Moderated by:
Alex Seggerman, Rutgers-Newark
Followed by
A Conversation between Shahzia Sikander and Christiane Gruber
Moderated by:
Sadia Abbas, Rutgers-Newark
Shahzia Sikander is a contemporary artist who lives and works in New York City. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she was educated at the National College of Arts in Lahore and the Rhode Island School of Design. Working in the media of performance art, sculpture, video projection, and digital animation, she incorporates her training in traditional Indo-Persian miniature painting into a conceptual art idiom. A MacArthur Grant recipient (2006), her artwork has been acquired and exhibited globally.
Christiane Gruber is Professor of Islamic Art and Associate Chair in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests span medieval Islamic art to contemporary visual culture. She has authored three books and has edited a dozen volumes on Islamic book arts, ascension texts and images, images of the Prophet Muhammad, and modern visual and material culture.
Sponsored by Office of the Provost, Department of English, Arts, Culture and Media Department, and Honors College
Categories: Announcement
Keywords: Islamic Art