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Deniz Beyazit

White Flowers -- Blue Beasts:
Blue-and-White Ceramics from the Islamic World, 9th-17th Centuries

Monday, December 13, 2021

2 PM via Zoom

Although the shapes of ceramics and motifs evolved over time, the taste for the contrasting blue-and-white aesthetic endured for centuries across the broad Islamic world.  This lecture will trace the history of Islamic blue-and-white ware from its introduction in 9th century Iraq to the 16th/17th century under the Ottomans (Eastern Mediterranean) and Safavids (Iran).  Through the lens of blue-and-white ceramics, it will explore encounters between the Islamic world and its neighbors, China in the East and Europe in the West.  In addition, the talk will highlight regional styles within the Islamic world and the inter-regional exchange of motifs and shapes in ceramics. Fascinating pairing with metalwork and textiles will illustrate the cross-media transmission of designs and forms.

A graduate of the Sorbonne Paris (2009), Dr. Deniz Beyazit is Associate Curator in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which she joined in 2010.  Her research interests and expertise are diverse. They span across media and vary from medieval Islamic to Ottoman arts, and comprise medieval Islamic metalwork, carpets and textiles, ceramics and works on paper. She is particularly fascinated by cross-regional exchanges and enjoys tracing connections between people from different cultures, as well as finding parallels via different techniques or media.  She currently pursues research on Islamic prayer books, religious imagery for the Prophet Muhammad and more broadly, art and imagery in the context of prayer and pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.  Among her recent projects are her work on Women's Dress and Fashion in the Islamic World, and on collecting Islamic art and Orientalism.


Deniz has widely lectured and published across a broad range of topics from medieval to contemporary times.  At The Met, Deniz was involved in the reinstallation of the New Islamic Art galleries (reopened November 1, 2011).  Among her exhibitions and installation at The Met are: Making a Collection of Islamic Art (2011-2012); Carpets of the East in Paintings from the West (2014 at The Met, and in 2015 at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto); Portable Storage: Tribal Weavings from the Collection of Willam and Inger Ginsberg (September 2017-May 2018); and Carpets in the Mediterranean (December 2019-present).  Together with her colleagues Dr. Sheila Canby and Dr. Martina Rugiadi, she co-curated the landmark exhibition and co-authored its accompanying catalogue Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs (April 25-July 24, 2016).  Her additional publications include the edited volume At the Crossroads of Empires: 14th-15th Century Eastern Anatolia (Varia Anatolica, 2012) and the monograph, Le décor architectural en pierre des Artuqides de Mardin placé dans leur context régional (début du Xlle -début XVe siècle), Archaeopress, Oxford, 2016.  Deniz also co-edited the collective volume The Seljuqs and their Successors: Art, Culture and History, Edinburgh University Press (series Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art), 2020 (together with Sheila Canby and Martina Rugiadi).  She is contributing curator and author to the exhibition of Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany and Co, the catalogue of which will be published in 2021; due to the pandemic, the exhibition is rescheduled for 2024.  Deniz is currently involved in a research project co-organized with Guy Burak of NYU Libraries, on the global history of al-Jazuli's prayer cycle for the Prophet Muhammad, From West Africa to Southeast Asia: The History of Muhammad al-Jazuli's Dala'il al-Khayrat Prayer Book (15th-20th Centuries).

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