Cornelius Johnson, Portrait of Sir Kenelm Digby, oil on panel, 31 x 24 in. At left, the painting before restoration, image courtesy of the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. Right, post-conservation photograph by Juan Trujillo
Columbia faculty are constantly publishing new books adding the latest scholarship to their respective fields. But deep in the basement of Butler Library, a group of dedicated conservators are engaged in the very different, but equally important task of preserving our cultural heritage.
Islamic art raises questions about the uses and meanings of ornament, the role and image of calligraphy and the nature of abstract art. Above: The Mosque of the Three Doors, Kairouan, Tunisia. 866 AD. Traditionally said to have been erected by Muhammad Ibn Khayrun, a merchant from Al-Andalus.
For Avinoam Shalem the study of art history is not just about locating and defining a civilization, a culture or a movement, it’s about what he calls “interaction zones”— the places where culture and commerce collide and inspire new forms of expression.
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger has announced that Vishakha Desai, former president and chief executive of the New York-based Asia Society, will join the University as his special advisor for global affairs while also serving as a professor of practice at the School of International and Public Affairs.