Finbarr Barry Flood is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the Humanities at the Institute of Fine Arts and Department of Art History, New York University. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include Islamic art history and historiography, cross-cultural dimensions of Islamic material culture, image theory, technologies of representation and Orientalism—topics on which he has published in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, and South Asia.
He has held fellowships from the University of Oxford, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institution, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Getty Research Institute, the Carnegie Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Among his recent publications are articles on Picasso, abstraction and the historiography of Islamic art in Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics (2017-18), marble, mosques and modernism in West 86th (2016), iconoclasm and Islamic State (Daesh) in Religion and Society: Advances in Research (2016), and the ingestion of images and words in the edited volume Sensational Religion (2014).
His books include The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture (Brill, 2000), and Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter (Princeton, 2009), awarded the 2011 Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association for Asian Studies for the best English-language book on South Asia. Edited books include Piety and Politics in the Early Indian Mosque (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2008) and Globalizing Cultures: Art and Mobility in the Eighteenth Century (2011), co-edited with Professor Nebahat Avcıoğlu. He has recently co-edited the 2-volume Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture (2017) with Professor Gülru Necipoğlu of Harvard University.
Ongoing projects include a transhistorical study of contested images in the Islamic world, provisonally entitled Islam and Image: Polemics, Theology and Modernity and a collaborative project, Object Histories: Flotsam as Early Globalism, for which he and Professor Beate Fricke of the University of Bern have been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Grant.
In spring 2019 he was the Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, delivering a series of eight public lectures entitled Islam and Image: Beyond Aniconism and Iconoclasm. In autumn 2019 he will deliver the Chaire du Louvre lectures at the Musée du Louvre on the theme Technologies de dévotion dans les arts de l’islam: pèlerins, reliques, copies, accompanied by a book of the same title published by Hazan/musée du Louvre.