Tag Archives: Berlin

New Online Resource: Collection of the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin

Screenshot 2018-05-29 11.55.13The Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin now provides access to more than 11.000 objects online on its website. This is a fundamental milestone in the accessibility of the museum collection and would not have been possible without the generosity of Yousef Jameel, Hon. LHD, a private supporter of the arts, education, and research.

Between 2012 and 2017 a special project team of art historians, archaeologists, photographers and conservators helped permanent museum staff to record, document and photograph large parts of the museum’s collection. They compiled important information about the objects including their dating, provenance, materials, and techniques.

After the successful conclusion of the project last year, a huge selection of object information is now available online, which also includes photographs of entire works and details. The selection includes most of the museum’s famous carpets, three hundred examples of its little-published textiles, and representative artworks from the ceramic, glass and metalwork and the ivory collection.

Screenshot 2018-05-29 11.57.21To see the museum’s collection, follow this link and select ‘Museum für Islamische Kunst’ from the museum list on the left. You can also click here for a selection of highlights from the museum, here for the whole collection, and here for objects connected to Spain. Clicking on Advanced Search will enables visitors to search according to date, material, object/term and geographical reference. Once you have selected an object of interest, don’t forget to click on ‘Multimedia’ below the object’s lead image to visualise a portfolio of photographs of different views and details.


CFP: The Artistic Heritage of al-Andalus (Berlin, October 2017)

2017-01-carljusti-logoCFP: The Artistic Heritage of al-Andalus (Berlin, 27-28 Oct 17)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, October 27 – 28, 2017

Deadline: 28 February 2017

The distinction between own and foreign culture plays a pivotal role in the making of religious, ethnic, and national identities. This was demonstrated by Bernd Roeck in his 2007 introduction to the forth volume in the series Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe. Forging European Identities, 1400-1700. Only the resurgence of a majority society and its demarcation against a minority society enables the forming of identity. But what happens in a multi-confessional and multi-ethnic society like the one that existed on the Iberian Peninsula until 1614? Can the foreign repertoire be distinguished clearly from the own at all, or has it not rather become part of a mutual cultural reality?

The history of Spain is defined by phases of cultural opening and seclusion. Whereas Alfonso X and Pedro I furthered the integration of al-Andalus’ art and architecture into the national narrative through their pro-Islamic cultural policy, the staging of a unified Catholic culture became the central topic of painting, sculpture and architecture during the Counter-Reformation. Only from the 18th century, a re-valorisation of the Islamic heritage in al-Andalus took place. Its part in forming a Spanish national identity was subject to controversial discussion on the background of changing historic and political necessities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Simultaneously, architects of the time advertised the Moorish Revival and helped Ibero-Islamic architecture to gain global centre stage. The Alhambrismo not only became one of the most favoured interior styles of the 19th century, but also dominated the Great Exhibitions which regularly took place after 1851. Besides Spain, Prussia (1867), Brazil (1876), or Mexico (1884) presented themselves with a Neo-Moorish exhibition pavilion.

This year’s annual conference of the Carl Justi Association aims to examine selectively the importance of al-Andalus for the forming of national identity from the Middle Ages to the present age. Papers on the following thematic emphases are requested:

– Exchange and confrontation during the Reconquista (1085-1492)
– Stating of a unified Catholic culture during Counterreformation
– Re-valorisation and historiographic debate in the 18th/19th centuries
– Franquismo and national renewal in the 20th/21st centuries

Presentations will have a duration of 20 mins. Languages of the conference are German, Spanish, English. Please send your abstract of max. 300 words and a short curriculum vitae to:

2016-07-Siglo-Berlin2-CroppedEl Siglo de Oro. The Age of Velázquez

Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

01 July 2016 to 30 October 2016

This summer in Berlin, a major exhibition showcasing 17th century Spanish painting and sculpture in all its fascinating variety goes on show outside of Spain for the first time. El Siglo de Oro: The Age of Velázquez comprises more than 130 masterpieces by Velázquez, El Greco, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Bartolomé E. Murillo, as well as lesser-known artists such as Alonso Cano and Gregorio Fernández.

The Gemäldegalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin pairs its collection of Spanish paintings – one of Germany’s most important – with numerous international loans for the large-scale exhibition. Many of these works are on display for the first time in Germany, and reveal the wealth of 17th century Spanish art on a scale never before seen. A central task of the exhibition is to provide a comparative perspective on the development of painting and the sculpture of the period.

Exhibition catalogue (English ed.): click here for details



SCAN Spanish Contemporary Art Network in Berlin


Image: ‘ALLES KLAR’ by Ubay Murillo, 2015

 Just opened: Bête Noire
29 Apr 2016 – 27 May 2016
Curated by SCAN Spanish COntemporary Art Network

Bête Noire is an art exhibition that reflects on conceptual positions and creative opportunities of the colour black (and de-saturation) in the context of contemporary art practices. Includes the work of nine multidisciplinary emerging artists from Spain: Ruben Guerrero, Alain Urrutia, Maria Leon, Ubay Murillo, Anna Talens, Inma Femenia, Alex Marco, Maria Tinaut and Fernando Martin Godoy.

Anna McSweeney : “Arthur von Gwinner and the Alhambra cupola in Berlin”, 7 May 2015

Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
SOAS, University of London

Anna McSweeney on “Arthur von Gwinner and the Alhambra Cupola in Berlin
Thursday 7 May 2015
5.30pm in Room B111 (Brunei Building)

2015-05-Alhambra_Kuppel_SMB_FriedrichAbstract: One of the jewels in the collection of the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin is the so-called Alhambra cupola, a fourteenth-century wooden ceiling that once was part of the famous Islamic palace in Granada, Spain. Made from hundreds of pieces of intricately carved and painted wood, it is one of the earliest and finest surviving Nasrid ceilings. This paper will explore how the cupola ended up in Berlin, brought there in 1891 by the highly cultured German financier Arthur von Gwinner (1856-1931), who so fell for the charms of the Alhambra palace that he wanted a piece of it for himself. Why did he want it, how did he get hold of it, and what did he do with it once he had it? These are questions that will be addressed in this research seminar. (Poster is attached).

CFP: Early Modern Hybridity and Globalization: Artistic and Architectural Exchange in the Iberian World

2014-05-RSA-Berlin-2015CFP: Early Modern Hybridity and Globalization: Artistic and Architectural Exchange in the Iberian World,  Renaissance Society of America conference, Berlin 2015
Scholarship has accepted “hybridity” as a term referring to cultural cross-fertilization in the early modern globalized society. This panel will examine ideas of exchange in artistic and architectural design in the Iberian world of the period. We will explore Spain and Portugal and their wider imperial dominions as points for cultural exchange. We welcome proposals that explore the impact of cultural encounters on art and architecture. We seek papers that examine Iberian encounters in Europe, including the Peninsula itself, as well as those in the wider world, from the South-East Asia to the Americas. We are particularly interested in research that deals with the way in which communities  – artists, patrons, collectors and audiences – negotiated global/transoceanic trends and symbols of local identity in the production of art and architecture. Papers will explore artistic and architectural design that embodies hybridity, rather than for example collections of exotica.
Please send your proposals, an abstract of no more than 150 words, and a short CV, no longer than one side of an A4 sheet of paper, to the co-chairs, Laura Fernández-González, University of Edinburgh (laura.fernandez-gonzalez@ed.ac.uk / laura.fernandezgonzalez@gmail.com), and Marjorie Trusted, Victoria & Albert Museum (m.trusted@vam.ac.uk) before 2 June 2014.