CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

CODARTfocus: Dutch and Flemish Encounters with the Islamic World

A visit to the cross-cultural exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums

Online – Thursday, 25 July 2024
16:00-17:00 (CEST) / 10-11 AM (EDT)

On Thursday, 25 July 2024, CODART organizes an online CODARTfocus meeting, in cooperation with the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, dedicated to the exhibition Imagine Me and You: Dutch and Flemish Encounters with the Islamic World, 1450–1750, which is on view until 18 August. The online meeting will offer CODART members new insights into the cross-cultural relations between the Low Countries and Islamic empires, as well as an overview of the fascinating objects on view, and the opportunity to learn more about the making of the exhibition from curator Talitha Maria G. Schepers, 2022–24 Stanley H. Durwood Foundation Curatorial Fellow, Division of European and American Art, Harvard Art Museums.

The event will include presentations by Talitha Maria G. Schepers (curator of the exhibition) and Madelyn Albright (designer of the exhibition), as well as a video tour of the exhibition and a brief Q&A session with the speakers moderated by Marjan Debaene, Head Curator Old Masters at M Leuven.


Please register via Zoom. Applications will be continuously reviewed by CODART. You will receive a personal link to join the meeting once your registration has been approved.

View of one of the exhibition galleries featuring an Ottoman robe decorated with swaying vines (18th–19th century, Harvard Art Museums). Photo: CODART

The Exhibition

Imagine Me and You unveils the vibrancy of multicultural exchange between the Low Countries, then part of the Habsburg empire, and the Islamic world, in particular the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires. The exhibition explores a wide range of artistic, cultural, diplomatic, and mercantile interactions that took place either in person or through the peaceful exchange of objects, art, and ideas over the course of three centuries. It disrupts the persistent notion that war—in particular, religious strife between Christians and Muslims—dominated interactions between the Low Countries and the Islamic world.

The approximately 120 objects in the exhibition include drawings, prints, paintings, textiles, and more; the works come from the collections of the Harvard Art Museums as well as from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, The Tobey Collection, other Harvard institutions, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

A digital resource was created in conjunction with the exhibition. The online publication dives deeper into the core exhibition themes of encounter and imagination through a variety of contributions, ranging from short texts focused on a single object to longer technical studies.