Posted on June 17, 2012

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is organizing a lecture titled “Technical Examinations of a Mina’i Pottery Bowl” by conservator Johanna Olafsdotter on Wednesday 20 June 2012 at 6:30 pm at the MIA Education Center.

The Mina’i bowl presented in this lecture belongs to the museum’s collection and shows an unusual and remarkable design. It was selected for study by ceramics and stucco curator Leslee Michelsen and object conservator Johanna Olafsdotter.

A lecture was given previously by Michelsen on Mina’i ware titled “Telling Tales: Narrative Discourse and Mina’i Pottery” during which the first study of the decoration on this bowl was presented. As for the upcoming lecture by Olafsdotter, it will present the different examination techniques that were employed to study the bowl and the results and observations that were made.

The bowl has broken and been restored in the past with extensive over paints and filling materials hiding the original surface. Therefore, MIA conservators and curators carried out further studies and examinations at the conservation department in order to try and determine the original pieces and design.

The luxury over-glazed polychrome painted wares called Mina’i, which is the Persian term for enamel, were produced in Iran during a short period of time in the second half of the twelfth century.

The production of these wares was complicated as it involved several firings and different glazing techniques. The decorations on these wares typically include scenes with tales from Persian legends, often compared to those found in the miniatures of manuscript illumination from books published during the same period.

Attendance at the lecture is open to the public free of charge.  Arabic translation will also be available.