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Pepperdine Art History Department Hosts “Genghis Khan Faces West” Lecture
Linda Komaroff, curator of Islamic Art and department head of Art of the Middle East at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will present a lecture on Monday, Oct. 29, titled “Genghis Khan Faces West: A New Visual Language Ilkanhid Iran.” The Art History department at Seaver College will host Komaroff’s presentation from 6 p.m. in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, followed by a reception.
Komaroff's lecture will consider the new visual language created in the wake of the 13th century Mongol conquests, and its sources and means of transmission and implementation, which developed under the Ilkhanid dynasty, and propose that textiles in particular had a crucial part in the dissemination of artistic ideas from East to West.
"The subject of this lecture, which is relevant to a variety of disciplines, will be of great interest to those interested in art, politics, economics, cultural interaction, and religious studies," notes Cynthia Colburn, associate professor of art history. "The liberal arts setting of Seaver College provides a perfect venue for this lecture."
The Mongol invasions of the 13th century infamously caused massive destruction and loss of human life. However, their subsequent practices of governance, patronage, conscription of artists, and mercantile exchange produced a singular environment for artistic creation, one that had a profound impact on art and architecture throughout Eurasia and particularly in the Islamic lands of western Asia.
The result was the genesis of an original aesthetic idiom, one forged through the dramatic confrontation between the nomadic traditions of the Mongols and the urban Islamic culture of Greater Iran, and animated and refined by contact with East Asian art. This interaction helped to infuse Iranian art with new ideas, along with a sophisticated awareness of art as a means of political expression.