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December 4th, 2001
Philadelphia Museum of Art Presents December 9 Program on Representing Islam

On Sunday, December 9, 2001, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Representing Islam in America: A Discussion Between an Artist and Historians. Three prominent specialists will each present a 20-minute lecture followed by a panel discussion on the role that art plays in the definition of American Islam.

The program will be held in Van Pelt Auditorium at 2:30 p.m. It is free after Museum admission. (On Sundays, admission is pay-what-you-wish).

Participants are Dr. Yvonne Haddad, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University who will speak on American Islam; Dr. Renata Holod, Professor of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania who will speak on mosque architecture; and New York-based printmaker, painter and sculptor Zarina Hashmi who will speak about her art. The program moderator is Darielle Mason, Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Yvonne Haddad is Professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Georgetown. She received her doctorate in the History of Religion from Hartford Seminary, Connecticut, in 1979, and is the former president of the Middle East Studies Association and the American Academy of Religion-northeast region. Dr. Haddad specializes in issues of contemporary Islam and has focused in particular on Islam in the United States. Books she has edited and authored include The Muslims in America and Islam, Gender and Social Change. Renata Holod is Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto, an M.A. degree in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. She has conducted archaeological and architectural fieldwork in Syria, Iran, Morocco, Central Asia, and Turkey, and is directing an archaeological survey and settlement study project in Tunisia. Dr. Holod has served as Convenor, Steering Committee, and Master Jury Member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and has co-authored and edited works such as City in the Desert; Architecture and Community: Building in the Islamic World Today; and The Mosque and Modern World: Clients, Designs and Processes since 1950.

Zarina Hashmi, born in Aligarh, India, studied printmaking in Paris and Tokyo and has been awarded residencies at Art-Omi in Omi, New York, and at the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York. Ms. Hashmi received the NYFA Fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists Books in 1985 and 1990. She has taught at Bennington College, Cornell University, and University of California at Santa Cruz. Her work is represented in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Victoria Albert Museum, and bibliothèque nationale, Paris.

Representing Islam in America: A Discussion Between an Artist and Historians is presented as part of a series entitled “A Nation Challenged: Museums Respond,” supported by the Philadelphia History Exhibitions Initiative, a program funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation. This series is offered in cooperation with WHYY.

Other museums participating in the A Nation Challenged series, through December 18, 2001, include: African American Museum of Philadelphia; Balch and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Chester County Historical Society; Independence Seaport Museum; National Museum of American Jewish History; Please Touch Museum; University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; Rosenbach Museum and Library. The series explores challenging issues about which Americans want to learn and discuss: the history of Islam, civil liberties, the position of ethnic groups during troubled times, the history of Afghanistan, to name a few.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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