"THE INTELLECT OF THE HAND-MAKING, MEANING, AND THINKING IN MEDIEVAL PLASTIC ARTS"
Margaret Graves, Indiana University
Part of the Silsila spring 2019 Lecture Series, Replication
In the medieval Islamic world making was often tacitly—and sometimes explicitly—recognized as a form of thought. Looking at both textual sources and objects, this lecture will trace a craft-oriented worldview that maps manual and cerebral processes of making into the intellectual realm, and at the same time illuminates the complex cognition embodied in manufactured objects. Looking particularly at allusions to architecture in the so-called “industrial arts" of metalwork and ceramic, it argues that the value of craft and the “thinking hand” were more widely recognized in the medieval Islamic world than has sometimes been suggested.
Margaret Graves is Associate Professor of Islamic Art History at Indiana University. She received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2010. She has published articles, books and exhibition catalogues on medieval and nineteenth-century arts of the Islamic world, including her recent monograph Arts of Allusion: Object, Ornament, and Architecture in Medieval Islam (Oxford University Press, 2018).
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