By Aeryn Pfaff
A new lecture series, designed to accompany the Cairo Under Wraps exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, launched Tuesday, Sept. 16 in the museum’s Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
ROM curator emeritus Lisa Golombek’s lecture was on death in Islam. It was described in the ROM literature as focusing on “Muslim attitudes towards burial, in relation to artifacts associated with burial – the shroud, the grave and the mausoleum” in the medieval Islamic world. The Cairo Under Wraps exhibit focuses on textiles from ancient Egypt and the surrounding area.
Golombek said she is interested in sharing this information with the public because “I have many students, even from the Islamic world who understand their religion of course, but even they have never thought of how the art and architecture relates to the ideas of Islam.”
Anu Liivandi, the ROM’s assistant textile and fashion curator, said the lecture and the exhibit have been very successful. “The participation of the Ismaili Center is very enriching,” she said. Cairo Under Wraps and the lecture series are presented in conjunction with the Ismaili Centre of Toronto, a Muslim community, resource and prayer center.
Patrons were satisfied with the talk as well. Noor Allibhi said that it gave her more of an idea of the different types of architecture in the Eastern world. “Even though I don’t speak or write Arabic I thought the different kinds of Arabic script were very picturesque. It was lovely, and the content was interesting,” she said.
Future lectures will run through Nov. 19 and will cover topics such as the lives of women in medieval Cairo, the paths of ancient pilgrimages to Cairo, and more on the exhibit’s principle feature: textiles. The exhibit itself will be on display at the ROM until Jan. 25, 2015.