Institut für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten



Arts of the Mamluks Conference

23-26 September 2009. School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London


This conference will focus on the visual arts of Egypt and Syria during the Mamluk period (1250-1517), including connections between Mamluks and contemporary cultures of east and west, and the legacy of Mamluk art beyond 1517.

Since the last major conference on Mamluk art in Washington on 1981, new historical sources have been brought to light and archaeological discoveries and research on Mamluk art and architecture have added considerably to our understanding of the Mamluk sultanate. But whereas in recent years a number of collective publications and exhibition catalogues have been dedicated to the art and architecture of various parts of the Muslim world, those of the Arab world have received less scholarly attention.

The acknowledged place of the Mamluks in the late medieval Mediterranean world, and especially their significance as the last artistic flowering of the pre-modern Arab world, the numerous Mamluk architectural monuments in Greater Syria and Egypt, the great quantity of surviving artefacts and the extraordinary wealth of historical sources for the period make it highly appropriate to have a fresh look at Mamluk art and architecture in the wider context of Islamic art and the context of Mamluk history in particular.

This conference, which is devoted to the art, architecture and archaeology of the Mamluks in Egypt, Syria and the Arab peninsula between 1250 and 1517 and their place in the arts of the contemporary Muslim world, will do much to remedy their recent neglect in the scholarship of Islamic art and material culture and in the study of later medieval Egypt, Syria, Arabia and the rest of the Arab world.