Thomas W. Lentz
Thomas Woodward Lentz Jr.
June 11, 1951
|Occupation(s)|| Art historian |
|Alma mater|| Claremont McKenna College |
University of California, Berkeley
|Thesis||Painting at Herat under Bāysunghur ibn Shāhrukh (1985)|
|Institutions|| Rhode Island School of Design Museum |
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Harvard Art Museums
Thomas "Tom" Woodward Lentz Jr. (born June 11,1951) is an American art historian and curator. Lentz served as the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums from 2003 to 2015. He was the ninth director in its history.
A native of California,Lentz received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Claremont McKenna College in 1974.He continued at the University of California,Berkeley receiving a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Studies in 1978. Lentz then received a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Art History from Harvard University in 1981 and 1985,respectively. His studies focused on Islamic art,and more specifically,on Persian painting. Lentz wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Painting at Herat under Bāysunghur ibn Shāhrukh."
In 1982,while studying at Harvard,Lentz was hired to his first role as Curator of Asian Art at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum,a post that he held until 1984. He then moved to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as Curator of Egyptian,Islamic,and West Asian Art. In 1992,Lentz accepted his first directorial position as assistant director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,both at the Smithsonian Institution. Three years later,he was promoted to deputy director,and then to acting director. In 2000,he officially became Director of the International Art Museums.
In 2003,Lentz was named the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums,becoming the ninth director in its history and succeeding James Cuno.During the directorship,Lentz guided the museum through a major renovation,led by the architect Renzo Piano. In 2007,Lentz was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2015,he stepped down from his post as director.
Mīrzā Muhammad Tāraghay bin Shāhrukh, better known as Ulugh Beg, was a Timurid sultan, as well as an astronomer and mathematician.
The Chester Beatty Library, now known as the Chester Beatty, is a museum and library in Dublin. It was established in Ireland in 1953, to house the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. The present museum, on the grounds of Dublin Castle, opened on 7 February 2000, the 125th anniversary of Beatty's birth and was named European Museum of the Year in 2002.
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is an art museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., focusing on Asian art. The Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art together form the National Museum of Asian Art in the United States. The Freer and Sackler galleries house the largest Asian art research library in the country.
The Timurid Empire, self-designated as Gurkani, was a late medieval, culturally Persianate Turco-Mongol empire that dominated Greater Iran in the early 15th century, comprising modern-day Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, much of Central Asia, the South Caucasus, as well as parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India and Turkey. The empire was culturally hybrid, combining Turko-Mongolian and Persianate influences, with the last members of the dynasty being "regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers".
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Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād, also known as Kamal al-din Bihzad or Kamaleddin Behzād, was a Persian painter and head of the royal ateliers in Herat and Tabriz during the late Timurid and early Safavid Persian periods. He is regarded as marking the highpoint of the great tradition of Islamic miniature painting. He was very prominent in his role as kitābdār in the Herat Academy as well as his position in the Royal Library in the city of Herat. His art is unique in that it includes the common geometric attributes of Persian painting, while also inserting his own style, such as vast empty spaces to which the subject of the painting dances around. His art includes masterful use of value and individuality of character, with one of his most famous pieces being "The Seduction of Yusuf”' from Sa'di's Bustan of 1488. Behzād's fame and renown in his lifetime inspired many during, and after, his life to copy his style and works due to the wide praise they received. Due to the great number of copies and difficulty with tracing origin of works, there is a large amount of contemporary work into proper attribution.
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A Muraqqa is an album in book form containing Islamic miniature paintings and specimens of Islamic calligraphy, normally from several different sources, and perhaps other matter. The album was popular among collectors in the Islamic world, and by the later 16th century became the predominant format for miniature painting in the Persian Safavid, Mughal and Ottoman empires, greatly affecting the direction taken by the painting traditions of the Persian miniature, Ottoman miniature and Mughal miniature. The album largely replaced the full-scale illustrated manuscript of classics of Persian poetry, which had been the typical vehicle for the finest miniature painters up to that time. The great cost and delay of commissioning a top-quality example of such a work essentially restricted them to the ruler and a handful of other great figures, who usually had to maintain a whole workshop of calligraphers, artists and other craftsmen, with a librarian to manage the whole process.
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