The role and concepts of Islamic art in the museum context

Lectures and events
Publication Date
Dr Stefan Weber

Fragments of a lost past or evidence of a connected history?

Video details

The first few years of the 21st century have witnessed an impressive re-evaluation of Islamic art and archaeology. Most of the larger collections of Islamic art have been, or still are, undergoing reorganisation. Museums and galleries have increasingly become important forums for public interest in Muslim Cultures.

Shifting global societies and the growing presence of Muslims in Europe and North America have meant that museums of Islamic art have assumed new duties and responsibilities, willingly or not. Countries with a Muslim majority, too, are witnessing a renewed interest in the artistic heritage of the past. Yet despite all this, there has been little discussion on content, categories of order, and the new roles played by museums. What are the stories embedded in the objects they exhibit, and how can these stories be told?

In this lecture, Stefan Weber, director of the Museum of Islamic Art, at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, traces the history of permanent exhibitions of Islamic art and archaeology from the early 20th century to the present.


Dr Stefan Weber
Director of the Museum of Islamic Art, Pergamon Museum, Berlin