Associate Curator of Manuscripts and Islamic Art
Amy Landau is Associate Curator of Manuscripts and Islamic Art. Landau received her Ph.D. from the Department of Islamic Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, in 2007, with a thesis entitled "Farangi-sazi at Isfahan: the Court Painter Muhammad Zaman, the Armenians of New Julfa and Shah Sulayman (1666-1694)". She has held fellowships at the Warburg Institute (University of London), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and was awarded grants from the British Institute for Persian Studies, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) for research in Iran and Armenia. She was previously a Visiting Scholar at UCLA and Curator of Islamic Art at Shangri La (Doris Duke Foundation).
Landau's work explores shifts in the visual culture of early modern Iran, with particular emphasis on interaction between Safavid Persia and Europe and the Armenian merchant community of New Julfa.
Currently she is working on an international loan exhibition of Islamic art, Pearls on a String: Artist and Patron in the Islamic World. Landau’s other exhibitions include Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue (2013); Diadem and Dagger: Jewish Silversmiths of Yemen (2012); and Poetry and Prayer; The Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia (2011).
Recent publications include “From Poet to Painter: Allegory and Metaphor in a Seventeenth-Century Persian Painting by Muhammad Zaman, Master of Farangi-Sazi”, Muqarnas 28, 2011, pp. 101-131 and 'Adaptation of Religious Iconography in Seventeenth-Century Iran: the Case of Bethlehem Church', in W. Floor and E. Herzig (eds.), Iran and the World in the Safavid Age, London (in press) .
Ongoing and Recent Departmental Projects
Islamic Digitization Project
This project funded by a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2008-2010) enabled the Walters to conserve, catalogue, and provide unlimited access to the Walters exceptional Islamic manuscripts. Approximately 250 manuscripts and single folios were catalogued and digitized. Highlights from the collection include such masterpieces as an early modern copy of the Atlas of the famous Ottoman naval commander Piri Reis (1465- 1554) and volumes of poetry written and decorated for the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1542-1605). Landau catalogued the collection with Adam Gacek (Principle Cataloguer).
From Parchment to Pixel
Parchment to Pixel: Creating a Digital Resource of Medieval Manuscripts was a two-and-a-half-year project to digitize, catalog, and make available 105 of the extraordinary illuminated medieval manuscripts in its collection representing diverse Christian cultures—Byzantine, Greek, Armenian, Ethiopian, and Latin Western. This amounts to some 38,000 pages of ancient text and 3,500 pages full of sumptuous illumination. Parchment to Pixel will continue the museum’s ambitious initiative to create, preserve, and make accessible fully cataloged digital surrogates of its world-famous medieval illuminated manuscripts, an initiative that began in 2008 with an NEH grant–funded project to digitize its Islamic codices that has enjoyed successful outcomes.
Imaging the Hours
Imaging the Hours: Creating a Digital Resource of Flemish Manuscripts, a three-year project to digitize, catalog, and make accessible 112 of the extraordinary illuminated medieval manuscripts in its collection from Flanders (modern northeastern France and Belgium). This amounts to some 45,000 pages of medieval text and nearly 3,000 pages of superb illumination. Imaging the Hours will continue the museum’s ambitious initiative to give to the world fully cataloged, complete digital surrogates of its world-famous medieval illuminated manuscripts, releasing its data for free noncommercial use by anyone under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.