fine arts department
Fields of Interest
Islamic art and architecture, the history of paper, art in the medieval Mediterranean world.
Professor Bloom teaches courses on the history of Islamic art and architecture. He also offers undergraduate seminars on such subjects as the arts of medieval Spain and the history of Cairo. His research has explored the history and development of the minaret, the history of paper, and the art of the Fatimid dynasty in North Africa and Egypt. He has written several books with Sheila S. Blair, his wife and co-holder of the Calderwood Chair, with whom he also served as principal consultant acclaimed documentary Islam: Empire of Faith, shown nationally on PBS. He is currently working on a revised edition of his book on minarets, a 2-hour documentary for PBS on the arts of Islam, and a 2013 exhibition at the McMullan Museum of Islamic art from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Arts of the City Victorious: Islamic Art and Architecture in Fatimid North Africa and Egypt (Yale University Press, 2007).
Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (Yale University Press, 2001). Winner of the Charles Rufus Morey Award (2003) of the College Art Association, and honorable mention for the Albert Hourani Book Award of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, all 2002. Selected as an ACLS Humanities E-Book.
Early Islamic Art and Architecture [The Formation of the Classical Islamic World: 600-950] (Ashgate, 2002).
Minaret: Symbol of Islam. [Oxford Studies in Islamic Art VII] (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).
Co-written or edited with Sheila Blair
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 of Paradise: Water in Islamic Art and Culture [The Second Hamad bin Khalifa Biennial Symposium on Islamic Art] (Yale University Press, 2009).
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.
Islamic Arts (Phaidon, 1997).
The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250 - 1800. [The Pelican History of Art] (Yale University Press, 1994).
Images of Paradise in Islamic Art (Hanover, NH, 1991).