News & Events

Event
12 Mar 2020, 5:30pm Outer Parlour< Pembroke College

War Games: Art, Ephemera and the Qajar Soldiery

Lecture by Natasha Morris, British Museum

From the mid-nineteenth century, small lacquer playing cards for the game of aas nas reached the height of their popularity and ubiquity. Amongst the five suites of a deck, the cards dedicated to the image of the ‘sarbaz’ or solider were adorned with figures inspired by the contemporary recruits of the Qajar army. With the dress and training of the troops being a result of modernising reforms in the early 1800s, the idiosyncratic decoration of the cards came to reflect a social reality of army life. Playing cards, understudied as part of a wider provisional material culture in Iran, were integral part in the homosocial life of Qajar men both within an army context and beyond; indicative of practices of vice, competition and play that were facilitated by these highly aestheticized gambling games.

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Event
14 Feb 2020, 5:30pm Nihon Room, Pembroke College, Cambridge

All students know that we are more likely to learn from a teacher who excites us, stirs our curiosity, and indeed our passion for wonder. This lecture introduces a multilingual illustrated dictionary made in sultanate India that immersed its readers in an aesthetic education through sound and wonder. The illustrated manuscript of interest is the Key of the Learned (Miftāḥ al-Fużalā, British Library Or 3299) attributed to Mandu circa 1490. Although the Key of the Learned contains quadruple the number of illustrations in comparison to Mandu’s famed Book of Delights (Ni‘matnāmah), it has received minimal scholarly attention. This study thus opens up new vistas onto sultanate book culture and has broader implications for early modern art well into the sixteenth century. The Miftāḥ al-Fużalā’s definitions encompass nearly every facet of Indo-Islamicate art history. It provides a critical vocabulary for subjects including musical instruments, textiles, metalwork, jewelry, arms and armor, and architecture.  The information transmitted by the Miftāḥ is not limited to the Persian, Hindavi, and Arabic language of the text, but also the visual knowledge depicted in paintings. This study thus argues that the Miftāḥ’s manuscript as a whole has a close relationship to the genre of the Islamicate cosmography and reveals its author’s penchant for wonder.

Vivek Gupta is completing his PhD at SOAS University of London in History of Art. His thesis, Wonder Reoriented: Manuscripts and Experience in Islamicate Societies of South Asia (ca. 1450—1600), examines a corpus of illustrated compendia of wonders in Persian, Arabic, and vernacular Indic languages.

Image credits: British Library Or 3299, f. 161a, pearl-borer

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Event
26 Sep 2019, 4:00pm Pembroke College, Cambridge and Emmanuel United Reformed Church

We are pleased to announce that on 26 September 2019 we will be celebrating the Fifth anniversary of our Cambridge Persian Centre at Pembroke College. The programme will include the video art exhibition dedicated to the contemporary perception of the idea of the Shahnameh, the cultural symbol of Iranian identity. Among the artists whose works will be a part of the exhibition, curated by Veronica Shimanovskaya are: Shoja Azari, Pouya Afshar, Maryam Farahzadi, and Farah Ossouli.

The programme will start at the Emmanuel United Reformed Church, opposite Pembroke College at 4 pm.

All are welcome!

The event is free but booking is essential at fia21@cam.ac.uk

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Event
26 Sep 2019, 4:30am

https://www.ephemereye.com/single-post/2019/01/05/Call-for-Artists-Persian-Heritage-for-the-World

Moving Image

FREE ENTRY

In collaboration with The Cambridge Shahnameh Centre for Persian Studies, Ephemereye announces an Open Call for Artists. 

The Cambridge Shahnameh Centre for Persian Studies will be celebrating its 5th Anniversary in 2019. As a part of Shahnameh Forever Series, the Centre will be hosting an art event: Shahnameh Forever 005: Persian Heritage for the World. The event will feature the work of artists inspired by the famous ancient and mediaeval literary and visual Persian Classics.

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Event
26 Sep 2019 (All day) Emmanuel United Reformed Church

The short video about the video art exhibition 'Shahnameh Forever: Persian Heritage for the World' on contemporary interpretation of Persian classics in literature and art held on 26 September 2019 in Pembroke College, Cambridge to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of the Cambridge Shahnameh Centre, the Twentieth Anniversary of the Cambridge Shahnameh Project and to commemorate the Millennium of Ferdowsi's death

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Event
23 May 2019, 5:30pm

Cutout papers with calligraphy often border single sheets of drawing and painting from the Safavid period, mounted on illuminated margins and often bound into an album. While some of these images are signed or can be attributed stylistically to an artist, the calligraphy and the page compositions are difficult to date with certainty. This talk will discuss the relationship between word and image in such folios and argues that with a close reading of the text and understanding its accord with the image, some hypotheses can be proposed on the time and place of its compilation. Furthermore, the possible origins of the design and compilers of such compositions will be explored

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