Abdallah Kahil













1. Abdallah Kahil

Lebanese American University

P.O.Box 13-5053 Chouran 1102-2801

Beirut, Lebanon

Tel.: 961-3579841



2. Education

PhD 2002 New York University

Dissertation: “The Sultan Hasan Complex in Cairo, 1357-1364.” Areas of Specialization: Islamic Art and Architecture, Modern Art and Architecture, Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology

MA 1987 New York University. History of Art and Archaeology MFA 1984 Pratt Institute (with distinction). Areas of Specialization: Printmaking and Painting

DES 1980 Lebanese University. Area of Specialization: Painting

3. Professional Experience

2006Assistant professor, the Lebanese American University;

Present Courses include: Twentieth-century Architecture in the Middle East, History of Design, History of Graphic Design, History of Modern Art, Visual Perception, History of Architecture from Ancient to the 18th Century, History of Architecture from 19th Century to Present, Intro to Islamic Art, Intro to Islamic Architecture, Art and Architecture of the Mamluks, Age of the Empires (Ottoman, Mughal and Safavid) Art and Architecture

2005-Visiting assistant professor, the Lebanese American University; courses included a 2006 graduate course in the History of Islamic Art


Part time assistant professor, the Lebanese American University

2005 2003-Assistant professor, the Lebanese University, Faculty of Fine arts 2005 Courses: History of Art, Studio Art: Drawing, Landscape Painting, Composition; Supervision of Diplome projects and Diplome theses

1990- Adjunct lecturer, New York University, College of Arts and Science,

1998 Department of Fine Arts Courses: Modern Art and architecture, Art since 1945, Islamic Art and Architecture, Art History I (Ancient to Renaissance), Art History II (Renaissance to Modern)

1989- Adjunct lecturer, New York University, School of Continuing and Professional

1998 Studies, the Degree Program Courses: Near Eastern and Islamic Art, Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture, African Art

1991-Adjunct lecturer, Fashion Institute of Technology 1996 Courses: Art History I, Art History II, Islamic and Indian Art

1993 Temporary faculty, Adelphi University Courses: Mythology and Art, Art through the Ages, Modern Art

4. Grants/Fellowships/Awards

2003-“The Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship,” the Metropolitan Museum, New 2004 York

1992-93 The Institute of Fine Arts Doctoral Fellowship. New York University

1991-92 The Institute of Fine Arts Doctoral Fellowship, New York University

1990-91 The Hagop Kevorkian Fellowship, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University 1990 The American Numismatic Society, Research Grant

1989-90 The Hagop Kevorkian Fellowship for Curatorial Training at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1981-86 The Lebanese University, Scholarship for Graduate Study Abroad

5. Publications Books

The Sultan Hasan Complex 1357-1364: A Case Study in the Formation of Mamluk Style, The Orient Institute of the German Oriental Society, Beirut and Ergon Verlag, Würzburg, 2008

Book chapters

“The last Mamluk Building in Damascus: the Sibā’iyya Complex and Architectural Theatricality, in Inhitat- Its Influence and Persistence in the Writing of Arab Cultural History, Syrinx von Hees (ed.)The Orient Institute of the German Oriental Society, Beirut, forthcoming


“Constructing New Art in Beirut: Abstraction in the 1960,” forthcoming

“The Architect/s of the Sultan Hasan Complex in Cairo,” Artibus Asiae, Vol. LXVI, No. 2, 2006, pp. 155-174

“Isti‘māl al-suwar: mashāhid al-wilāda fī al-fann al-islīāmī fi al-marhala al-maghuliyya,” (The Use of Images: Birth Scenes in Mughal Painting), Bahithat Yearly Book: The Image and its Visual Representations in the Arab Culture, Beirut: 2005, pp. 136-156


Catalogue essays “Waqf Documents and Architectural Fittings and Furnishings,” Gifts of the Sultan, The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, edited by Linda Komaroff. Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2011

Catalogue entries “Mamluk Metalwork at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” in Arte islámico el museo metropolitano de Nueva York, Mexico City, 1994, pp. 190-214, 228

Encyclopadia entries

"Ecology and Islam," Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion 2nd Edition, Springer, available on the online eidition, print edition is forthcoming

Book Reviews

ZEYNEP ÇELIK, Empire, Architecture, and the City: French-Ottoman Encounters 1830-1914University of Washington Press, 2008, and MURAT GÜL, The Emergence of Modern Istanbul: Transformation and Modernization of a City. London, New York, Tauris Academic Studies 2009, in Journal of Urban History (forthcoming)


Translation into Arabic of “Performativity and the Image: Narrative, representation, and the Uruk Vase,” by Zainab Bahrani, in Leaving No Stones Unturned: Essays on the Ancient Near East and Egypt in Honor of Donald P. Hansen, Erica Ehrenberg (ed.), Eisenbrauns, Indiana: 2001, forthcoming in Bidayat


Contributions to Bespoke on Modern furniture design (2006-2008), Beirut, Lebanon

Contributions to al-Qafilah, Riyad, (2006-2008), Kingdome of Saudi Arabia

Contributor to al-Hayat in art criticism and exhibition reviews; the articles are reviews of exhibitions in museums in New York. Their subjects varied from Islamic Carpet, Modern ballet, to Modern Art), 2003, 1996-98

Preface and editing, Christianity and Islam, History of the Ancient and Medieval World, Marshall Cadevitch, New York, 1996

“Reconstruction of a Seal Impression from the Uruk Period,” Frühe Scriftund Technichen der Wirtschaftsverwaltung im alten Vorderen Orient, Hans J. Nissen ed., Berlin 1990, p. 43 (A reconstruction drawing based on an early Sumerian clay tablet in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has with multiple impressions) “Interview with artist Rafiq Sharaf,” al-Fikr al-Arabī 1 (1978), pp. 225-30; (a discussion about the question of “identity” between western styles and Islamic art)

“Interview with artist cAbd al-Hamīd Bacalbakī,” al-Fikr al-Arabī 4-5 (1978), pp. 419-27; (a discussion about the question of “identity” between abstraction and social reality)

Research in Progress

“Illuminating the Void, Reflecting the Universe: Spatial Design and Light Furnishing in Mamluk Architecture.Review of Reconstruire la maison du sultan: 1350-1450, Ruine et recomposition de l’ordre urbain au Caire, by Julien Liseau, Institut français d’archeology orientale, Cairo, 2010, forthcoming in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

“Building the State: Government Buildings in the Shehabi Period 1958-1964,” it may be co-authored “Wathiq Adib: a Monograph,” it may be co-authored “The Southern Suburb of Cairo in the Fourteenth Century: The Theater of Power.“Stone Carving Metalwork and Textiles in Mamluk Art: what did the Rassamun do? “Identity in Landscape Painting in Twentieth-century Lebanese Art“Constructing Identity through Architecture in French Mandate Beirut: The Parliament and the Museum.

6. Conferences/Presentations/Papers

2013 Illuminating the Void, Reflecting the Universe: Spatial Design and Light Furnishing in Mamluk Architecture. Islamic Art Symposium, Palermo, Italy

2012 College Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles “Making Up a Historiography: Contemporary Arts of the Middle East.” Co-chair with Sussan Babaie Paper: “Transient Histories: Art in Lebanon through Gallery Politics before and after the Civil War.

2011 Symposium, “Unwrapping the Gifts of the Sultan,” the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Paper: “Mamluk Waqfiyyas: The Gifts that Keep on Giving,

2010 “Late Mamluk Architecture,” at “Inhitat- Its Influence and Persistence in the Writing of Arab Cultural History,” a symposium organized by the History and Archaeology Department at The American University of Beirut, the Exzellenzcluster Religion and Politics, the University of Münster, and the Orient-Institut Beirut, December 8-11, 2010

2010 “Identity in Landscape Painting in Twentieth-century Lebanese Art” at “New Perspectives on the Art of the Middle East.” Session Convenor: Christine Riding, Tate Britain. The 36th AAH Annual Conference took place at the University of Glasgow, 15th - 17th April 2010.

2009 “Dressing the Stone, Mamluk Carved Architectural decoration in the 14th century,” Art of the Mamluks Conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, September 23-26.

2009 “Modernity on the Fringe, the Work of Two Lebanese Painters from the last Decade of the 20th Century,” IADE 2009 UNIDCOM International Conference. Lisbon, Portugal, September 30-October 2nd. (The paper was not delivered due to an accident)

2009 “Venues of Tradition: Architecture in the Middle East Between Identity and

Modernity,” Lebanese American University, organizer and chair, 2008 Talk20, the American University in Beirut, a presentation about my recent artwork 1993-94 “A Year of Africa: the Continent and its Art,” a 12 lecture series at the Metropolitan

Museum of Art, chair

7. Guest Lectures

2010 “The Graphic Design Work of Muhyi al-Din al-Labbad,” at a Commemorative Panel for the Egyptian artist and graphic designer Muhyi al-Din al-Labbad. The 54th Arabic Book Fair, Biel, Beirut

1994-1996 Gallery Lectures on Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

1993 “Issues in Contemporary Arab Art,” Columbia University

1991 “The Urban Setting of the Sultan Hasan Complex,” Cornell University

8. Professional Service

2012 Representative of the School of Architecture and Design in the “University Standing Committee on Academic Integrity”

2012 Representative of the Department of Architecture and Interior design in the Faculty Academic Council, School of Architecture and Design

2006-present Director of the Institute of Islamic Art and Architecture, The Lebanese American University

2006-present Students advisor, LAU

2010 Search Committee for a full time faculty in Interior Design, LAU

2009-2012 Representative of the School of Architecture and Design in the LAU Senate

2009 International Studio – Tour for LAU student in Spain 2005-2006 Several tours for LAU student to Baalbek, Lebanon

2008 Member and secretary of the Strategic Plan Committee for the Institute of Islamic Art and Architecture, LAU

2007-2009 Representative of the School of Engineering and Architecture at the University’s Library Counsel, LAU

2007 Referee of a book manuscript: “An Introduction to Area Conservation in the Arab City,” Intellect Publishers of Original Thinking, London

2006 Search Committee for a University Librarian, LAU

2006 Guest Lecturer at the College Protestante, Beirut: “The Palace of Alhambra.”

9. Professional Affiliations

College Art Association Society of Architectural Historians Association of Art Historians Historians of Islamic Art Middle East Study Association Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

10. Languages Read/Spoken

English, Arabic, French (read/spoken), German (read)

11. Computer Skills, Audio-Visual Skills, Photographic/Slide Making Skills, Exhibitions

Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft office, photography

12. Others

2011 Introducing two new courses to the curriculum at LAU:

a-“Twentieth-century architecture in the Middle East.” This course covers the development of architecture in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran from 1900 to 2000. It explores the various forms of modernism and local identity in architecture in the region.

b-“Modern Art and Visual Culture in the Middle East.” This course surveys the development of Modern art in the Middle East from the end of the Nineteenth century to the Present. The survey will cover the colonial period and the process of westernization in Middle Eastern countries, as well as the formation of National schools of Fine Arts the ensuing spread of Modernism.

EXPERIENCE AS AN ARTIST Selected solo exhibitions

2012 Balamand University
2005 “The Hill of Keys,” installation, Espace SD gallery, Beirut
2005 “The memory of the Window,” digital photo installation at the International Artists
  Workshop, Aley, Lebanon
2005 “Ceci n’est pas Beyrouth,” Composite digital photo-prints, Espace SD, Beirut. The
  exhibition was also held in August 2005 at gallery Liban-Gebran in Byblos
1985 Chemical Bank, New York
1984 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York; Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition.
1983 The Turmbull Art Guild, Warren, Ohio
1981 The Smuggler's Inn, Beirut, Lebanon

Selected Group Exhibitions

2012 “Primitia” Lebanese American University 2006 “Nafas Beirut,” Espace SD Gallery, Beirut, Installation 2006 Photos posted on WorldviewCities, and eMagazine run by the Architectural League,

New York 2004 Soursok Museum, the 25th Fall Exhibition 2003 Soursok Museum, the 24th Fall Exhibition 1991 Alif Gallery, Washington D.C. 1986 New York Society for Ethical Culture, New York. 1986 Belanthy Gallery, Brooklyn, New York

1984 Grace Gallery, New York City Technical College, Brooklyn, New York 1982 Christmas Show, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York 1981 The International Exhibition of Illustrations of Children Books, Bologna, Italy. 1980 The Ministry of Tourism, Beirut, Lebanon

1979 Salon d'Automne, the Unesco Palace, Beirut, Lebanon

Art Workshops and Symposia

2005 International Artists Workshop, Aley Lebanon 2004 Ehden Symposium, Ehden, Lebanon

Art related experience

1980-81 Caricaturist and illustrator for al-Musbah, and al-Nahar al-Arabi wa al-Dawli Poster Designs Represented in private collections in Lebanon, France and the USA


Italy (Rome, Florence, Milan), France (Paris), USA (New York, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Ithaca, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Haven…), England (London, Glasgow), Switzerland (Geneva), Germany (Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin), Spain (Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Malaga, Granada), Austria (Vienna); Egypt (Cairo, Alexandria); Syria (Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Palmyra); Iraq (Baghdad, Nasiriyyah, Mosul). Turkey (Istanbul), Bulgaria (Sophia)