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Workshop with MATHAF, Qatar

11 Mar 2016
Fahrelnissa Zeid, Untitled (detail), n.d. (post 1941).

On 11th March 2016, Dr Mary Healy, guest co-ordinator and Lecturer of the module HA2013 Representations, held an online student workshop with the Research Department of MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar.

The workshop, The Making of an Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, was organised in association with the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, Ireland. The workshop was held in the gallery's River Room. 

Guest Lecturers: Joanne Lisinski, Acting Head of Research, Mathaf, and Rima Ghanem, Research Assistant, Mathaf.

A collaborative project between Qatar Museums, Qatar Foundation and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World provides a major resource on artists from the Arab world and their histories. Envisioned by H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani, as part of the development of Mathaf and knowledge around its collection, the research team at Mathaf, commission scholars and independent researchers to author Encyclopedia entries. Mathaf Encyclopedia is an online, bilingual and peer-reviewed resource that provides open access to basic facts and in depth information on modern art of the Arab world. The Encyclopedia aims to standardize the data on Arab artists and to encourage multiple perspectives on modernism in the Arab world while providing a comprehensive view on its development. The Encyclopedia is a work in progress and will continue to develop to include all artists from Mathaf's permanent collection as well as historically contextualizing works of art in Mathaf’s 9000 piece collection. This talk with Mathaf research staff will first discuss the role of the research department within the museum, and secondly the development and outcomes of the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World. The talk will provide valuable insights on its establishment, use, successes and challenges.


Joanne Lisinski, Acting Head of Research, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

Joanne joined Mathaf in 2012 and has since worked to develop the research department within the museum. The work of the research department facilitates the documentation and knowledge production around the collection at Mathaf. Her major projects include the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World. Prior to her position at Mathaf, Joanne held various roles in the arts, heritage and preservation sectors in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. She completed her BA in Media Arts, with an art history major, at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and her MA in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She is currently completing an MSc in Conservation at University College London in Doha, Qatar.


Rima Ghanem, Research Assistant, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

Rima joined Mathaf in 2012 as a specialist in Visitor Services. With a background in Cultural Management and research experience in the field, she transferred to the research department in 2014. Rima’s main contributions are focused on locating primary research material, private collections, copyrights and assisting in the development of an Arab art glossary of terms. She also provides research support to the curatorial and collections departments. Before joining Mathaf, Rima was based in Beirut, Lebanon where she worked at several cultural institutions. Rima completed a BBA in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Balamand in al-Koura, Lebanon and an MA in Research in Cultural Management at Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon.

This workshop was made possible due to the research and development support received from the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme, 2012-14.

HA2013 Module Co-Ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Mary Healy, History of Art, UCC.

Workshop flyer (PDF): MATHAF-event flyer (401kB) (401kB)


History of Art

5 Perrott Avenue, University College Cork, CORK, Republic of Ireland.