• ART HISTORY

RESEARCH SEMINAR: Shima Gholami & Trevor Armstrong

Art History at the University of Sydney Research Seminar: Thursday October 27, 2022, 3-4.30pm. via ZOOM

Shima Gholami

Persian Nomadic Warp and Weft in MAAS: A Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The particular weaving techniques and symbolic values of Persian rugs have been transmitted between generations for centuries. They were classed as a form of intangible heritage by UNESCO in 2010. Yet there is very little discourse around Persian rugs as intangible cultural heritage. My study focuses on how Persian rugs as one type of culturally diverse object is translated, identified and preserved in museum collections. Using two case studies of rugs made by Qashqa women held in the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, this paper will investigate how intangible heritage is captured in current curatorial practices such as museum documentation.


Shima Gholami is a curator, conservation and restoration expert, with a background working in Iran’s most significant Museums as Golestan Palace Museum. Currently, Shima work at ICS/ International Conservation Services as an Object Conservator.

Image: Qashqai woman weaving a carpet, Qashqai nomad camp, Fars Province, Iran. imageBROKER / Alamy Stock PhotoIran


Trevor Armstrong Making light in the nineteenth century world: the art of whaling in colonial Australia

Judged by contemporary values, it seems inconceivable that England’s wealthiest man, and one credited with acquiring a nationally important fine art collection, should also acquire for his walls, images of whaling, including the highly noxious practice of boiling whale blubber to produce whale oil. The highly successful brewer and banker, Edward Guinness, the First Earl of Iveagh (1847-1927), who acquired works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Frans Hals, also bought sea pieces by the English marine painter of whaling in the South Seas: pictures that were based on Brierly’s experiences as manager of a whaling station on the south coast of New South Wales in the 1840s. Brierly and other colonial artists made a small but significant visual archive of this abandoned and now much discredited industry. Trevor Armstrong is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Sydney. He has B.Litt (Hons) and MA (Hons) in art history from the University of Melbourne.

Image: Owald Walters Brierly, A south sea whale chase 1885, Watercolour over pencil on wove paper mounted on wood, 64.3 x 92.3 cm, QAGOMA.

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