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Production, Transmission & Interpretation - day 1

Wednesday 13 March 2024, 5.00PM to 7:30 pm

Opening Keynote: China on Display: Ming Porcelain in Mughal Architecture

A prestigious luxury good, Chinese porcelain was in great demand across Asia and Europe, including by the great Muslim courts of the early modern era. The Mughals, Safavids, and Ottomans were active participants in the market for porcelain, be it through trade, purchase, or gifting, and the royals and elites amassed impressive collections of these fine objects. Focusing on Mughal royals in the 15th and 16th centuries, this talk will discuss their interest in collecting and displaying such items. From Babur’s (r.1526-30) exhibition of Ming porcelain in a purpose-built hall, to images of blue-and-white ware decorating architectural interiors during Jahangir’s reign (r.1605-27), the decorative aesthetic of Chinese porcelain in Mughal architecture was clearly highly valued. 


Mehreen Chida-Razvi

Mehreen Chida-Razvi’s expertise is on the art, architecture, and material culture of Mughal South Asia. Her research areas include the intersection of art, architecture, and politics; the architectural patronage of the Empress Nur Jahan; the physical and cultural spaces occupied by women; and European views of the Mughal empire. Her work has centered on the artistic production of the reign of the 4th Mughal emperor, Jahangir (r.1605-27), and she is preparing a monograph on his mausoleum, located in Shahdara, Lahore.

She has published extensively on aspects of Mughal art, architecture, and urbanism, including on Lahore’s Badshahi Masjid, Jahangir’s mausoleum, and images of the Virgin Mary in Jahangiri architecture. Mehreen has further shared her academic expertise with wider audiences through her participation and consultation for documentaries on the Taj Mahal; programming on BBC World Service Radio, BBC2 and BBC4; award-winning podcasts; participation in the Lahore, Jaipur, and Heidelberg Literary Festivals; and as an expert lecturer on cultural tours. 

Mehreen completed an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art (2005), a second MA in History of Islamic Art and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London (2006), and her PhD in Art History from SOAS (2012). She is the Deputy Curator of the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art and the In-House Editor for their publication series, is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, and regularly teaches courses and lectures on Islamic and Indo-Islamic art at SOAS, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Arts of the Islamic World

An exhibition of Islamic art spanning one thousand years is now on display at the University’s Borthwick Centre for Archives in the University's library.

The exhibition has been curated Dr Richard McClary from the Department of History of Art and Helena Cox, a PhD student in the Department and curator of the University's Art Collection, and marks the launch of a new Masters in Islamic Art and Cultures.

The artefacts in the exhibition date from the 9th to the 19th centuries and come from lands ruled by Muslim dynasties from Spain in the west to India in the east.  Highlights include ancient coins with ornate calligraphy and vibrantly coloured fragments of ceramics painted with figures and geometric patterns. 

Dr McClary explained “My love of Islamic art and architecture started when I visited Istanbul with my dad as a teenager. I had never seen anything like the huge, open, light-filled space in the great Ottoman mosques. I hope this exhibition can give visitors a sense of the wonders of art in the Islamic world.”

He hopes that the exhibition will reach out to the Muslim community in Yorkshire and further afield. “We want people to know that their rich culture is appreciated, not just in the world where the material originated, but also here in the UK”, he added. 


Richard McClary

Dr Richard McClary received his doctorate, entitled “The Rūm Saljūq Architecture of Anatolia 1170-1220”, from the University of Edinburgh in 2015. Prior to that he was awarded an MA in Islamic Art and Archaeology by the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University in 2011. He has lectured extensively on the topic of Medieval Islamic architecture around the world and has conducted fieldwork in India, Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East.

From 2015 to 2018 he was a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, researching the surviving corpus of Qarakhanid architecture in Central Asia. His first monograph, Rum Seljuq Architecture 117-1220, The Patronage of Sultans, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2017.

He has published extensively on a wide range of topics, and is a specialist in the architecture and ceramic arts of the wider Iranian world from the tenth to the fourteenth centuries. He invites applications from prospective PhD candidates in the fields of Islamic art and architecture, and will be teaching both undergraduate and MA courses from 2019 onwards. 

Registration is FREE for the day 1 programme but places are limited, please register here.

Programme - day 1

Venue: Campus West (Vanbrugh College, Berrick Saul, Borthwick Institute for Archives) 

17:00 – 17:30: Tea and refreshments, Department of History of Art Lounge V/N/227

17:30 – 18:30: Opening keynote, Tree House BS/104

China on display: Ming porcelain in Mughal architecture
by Dr Mehreen Chida-Razvi
Deputy Curator & In-House Editor, Khalili Collections
Associate Editor, International Journal of Islamic Architecture

Chaired by Professor Jason Edwards

18:30 – 19:30: Curatorial walkthrough: Arts of the Islamic World, Borthwick Institute

by Dr Richard Piran McClary
Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art and Architecture,
Department of History of Art, University of York 

Download the full 3 day Production Transmission Interpretation Programme revised (PDF , 409kb)

Any questions please email Parshati Dutta and Nausheen Hoosein via

Location: Berrick Saul BS/104