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College of Arts and Sciences

Sheila Blair

fine arts department

photo of Sheila Blair

Norma Jean Calderwood University Professor of Islamic and Asian Art

(Jointly held)

Ph.D., Harvard University, 1980

Devlin Hall 433
Phone: 617-552-8595
Email: sheila.blair@bc.edu

Curriculum Vitae*

Fields of Interest

Islamic art, especially the arts of Iran and Central Asia, the art and architecture produced under the Mongols, calligraphy and books.

Academic Profile

Professor Blair teaches about all aspects of Islamic art from the seventh century to modern times. She offers surveys on Islamic art, architecture, and urbanism, as well as research seminars on the Silk Road, the Islamic book, and the arts of the object. Her research is equally broad: she has written or co-written 17 books, including several international award winners, and more than 200 articles in journals, encyclopedias, colloquia, and festschriften. Several of her books were written with her husband and co-holder of the Calderwood Chair, Jonathan Bloom, with whom she served as artistic consultant to the three-hour documentary Islam: Empire of Faith, shown nationally on PBS.

Publications

Monographs

bookcover Text and image in medieval persian art

Text and Image in Medieval Persian Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2013)

bookcover of Islamic Calligraphy

Islamic Calligraphy (Edinburgh University Press, 2006); winner of the 2007 British-Kuwait Friendship Society/British Society of Middle Eastern Studies Prize and the 2008 World Prize for the Book of the Year by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance; selected as a 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.

bookcover of Islamic Inscriptions

Islamic Inscriptions (Edinburgh University Press, 1998); winner of the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize for the best book on Middle Eastern studies published in Britain, 1999.

bookcover of A Compendium of Chronicles

A Compendium of Chronicles: Rashid al-Din's Illustrated History of the World, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, vol. XXVII, ed. Julian Raby (The Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press, 1995); winner of the Bahari Prize for the best book on Persian civilization, 1998.

bookcover of The Ilkhanid Shrine Complex at Natanz, Iran

The Ilkhanid Shrine Complex at Natanz, Iran, Harvard Middle East Papers, Classical Series no. 1 (Cambridge, MA: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 1986); Persian translation by Vali-allah Kavusi Mi‘mārīyi īlkhānī dar na anz: majmu‘ah-i mazār-i shaykh ‘abd al-amad (Tehran: Iranian Academy of Art, 1387/2008).

Co-written or edited with Jonathan Bloom

bookcover of Cosmophilia: Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen

Cosmophilia: Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen (Boston College: McMullen Museum, Chestnut Hill, 2006).

bookcover of Diverse are their Hues

Diverse are their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture [The Third Hamad bin Khalifa Biennial Symposium on Islamic Art] (Yale University Press, 2011).

rivers-paradise

Rivers of Paradise: Water in Islamic Art and Culture [The Second Hamad bin Khalifa Biennial Symposium on Islamic Art] (Yale University Press, 2009).

bookcover of The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture

The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture (Oxford University Press, 2009); Winner of the 2010 World Prize for the Book of the Year from the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of Islamic Studies.

bookcover of Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power

Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power (Yale University Press, 2001).

bookcover of Islamic Arts

Islamic Arts (Phaidon, 1997).

bookcover of The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250 - 1800

The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250 - 1800. [The Pelican History of Art] (Yale University Press, 1994).

bookcover of Images of Paradise in Islamic Art

Images of Paradise in Islamic Art (Hanover, NH, 1991).

 

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