Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Islamic and South and Southeast Asian Art
Dr. Amy Landau is Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Islamic and South and Southeast Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Islamic Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, in 2007. She has just completed an international loan exhibition on Islamic Art dedicated to stories about people and the significance of biography in Muslim traditions. This exhibition, “Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts,” (November 8th 2015 –January 31st, 2016, traveling to the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco February 25th- May 8th 2016) was generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Landau has catalogued the Walters collection of Islamic manuscripts with Adam Gacek in fulfillment of National Endowment of Humanities Preservation and Access Grant (2008-2011) to produce digital surrogates of the collection. She has also translated the Armenian colophons with Theo Maarten van Lint in fulfillment of National Endowment for Humanities Preservation and Access Grant (2011-2013). Landau jointly worked with the Education Department on the digital resource Integrating the Arts: Islam, funded by Qatar Foundation International (2011).
As curator for Islamic and South Asian arts, Landau aims to create narratives that interweave histories of people, places, and objects. At the Walters, she has also curated a series of exhibitions to highlight the Islamic collections: Poetry and Prayer (2010); Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia (2011); Images of Paradise: The Garden in the Christian and Islamic Worlds (2012); Diadem and Dagger: Silversmiths of Yemen (2012); Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Egypt’s Ben Ezra Synagogue (2013), traveled to Yeshiva University Museum, New York (2013/2014); Gérôme and His Circle: Travel, Art, and Business in the Middle East (November 14, 2015–February 7, 2016).
Landau's research 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. Recent publications include Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in association with University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 2015; “Reconfiguring the Northern European Print to Depict Sacred History at the Persian Court” in Thomas D. C Kaufmann and Michael North (eds.), Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in Asia, Amsterdam University Press, 2014, pp. 66-82; and “Visibly Foreign, Visibly Female: The Eroticization of Zan-i Farangī in Seventeenth-Century Iranian Painting”, in Francesca Leoni and Mika Natif (eds.), Eros and Sexuality in Islamic Art, Ashgate Publications, 2013, pp. 99-130.