Presented by Lisa Balabanlilar, associate professor of history, Rice University

Less than 100 years after the region’s conquest and conversion, Greater Iran would become the center of the Islamic empire. Centuries of Iranian kingship had created sophisticated traditions of rule, a rich literary culture, and unrivaled artistic vision—a legacy that would have a profound influence across the Islamic worlds. 

In particular, a Persian political and cultural synthesis emerged that would dominate Central Asian and North Indian societies for hundreds of years. Turkish and Mongol royal courts would adopt the Persian literary and visual canon in order to express their own political identities, devotional passions, relationship with beauty and landscape, and vision of morality, kingship, and justice.

This lecture explores the historical and cultural past to provide context for the exhibition Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands.

• $5 MFAH Members
• $10 Adult nonmembers
Secure your spot in advance! Get online tickets below.

Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mitra Mujica-Margolis and Michael Margolis; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Mercantil Bank; Mr. William J. Hill; The Windgate Charitable Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Sharon G. Dies; The Powell Foundation; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.