Revisiting the Reception of Islamic Ornament and Color in the West

Author Biographies

Sandra Gianfreda, Kunsthaus Zürich

Sandra Gianfreda completed her PhD in 2001 with a thesis on half-length figures in history painting of the Seicento and worked as an assistant to the chair of Renaissance to Modern Art History in Bern from 1998 to 2002. Subsequently, she undertook a traineeship at the Kunstmuseum Basel in the department for the Nineteenth Century and Modern Art. She was a curator at Kunstmuseum Winterthur from 2005 to 2009, a project manager and curator of special exhibitions at Museum Folkwang in Essen from 2009 until spring 2015 and has been a curator at Kunsthaus Zürich since summer 2015. She has published and organized exhibitions on Impressionism, modern art, and American, German and Italian art from the post-war period. 

Francine Giese, Vitrocentre Romont & Vitromusée Romont

Francine Giese is director of the Vitrocentre and the Vitromusée Romont, Switzerland. From 2014 to 2019 she held a SNSF professorship at the Institute of Art History of the University of Zurich, where she led the research project “Mudejarismo and Moorish Revival in Europe.” Her PhD thesis, dealing with the Islamic ribbed vault, was published in 2007 (Gebr. Mann), and her habilitation (second book) on building and restoration practices in the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba was issued in 2016 (Peter Lang). In her current research project “Luminosity of the East” (SNSF, 2020-2024), she investigates the typology, materiality, and provenance of Islamic colored glass windows (qamarīyāt) within Western museum collections. Her research focuses on transfer and exchange processes between the Islamic world and the West, architectural Orientalism, provenance research, and the arts of glass. 

Axel Langer, Museum Rietberg

Axel Langer is curator of the arts of the Islamic Near and Middle East at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich, Switzerland. He has organized a number of exhibitions whose recurrent theme has been the cultural transfer between the East and West, including, for instance, Chinese blue and white porcelain as a source of inspiration for Persian, Ottoman, and European ceramics, but also the cross-cultural exchange between Persia and Europe in the seventeenth century. In spring 2022, his exhibition In the Name of the Image. Imagery between Cult and Prohibition in Islam and Christianity is on show at the Rietberg Museum. 

Ariane Varela Braga, University of Milan

Ariane Varela Braga is a historian of art and architecture. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Milan. In 2021, she was a Chastel Fellow at the French Academy and a Fellow at the Bibliotheca Herziana in Rome, where she worked on a book manuscript titled “Crafting the Moresco: Orientalism, Architecture and Material Culture in 19th and Early 20th-Century Italy” (Habitation project, University of Zurich). Her research is located at the intersections between visual and material culture, and architecture and cultural history in the late modern period. Her first book was about Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament (Campisano, 2017). She has published volumes and articles on the history and theory of decorative arts and architecture, polychrome marble, and the European appropriation of non-Western art, and curated exhibitions on nineteenth-century art and architecture, as well as on contemporary art. 

How to Cite
Gianfreda, S., Giese, F., Langer, A., & Varela Braga, A. (2022). Revisiting the Reception of Islamic Ornament and Color in the West. Manazir Journal, 3, 6–12.