- Sheila S. Blair
- and Jonathan M. Bloom
(b Strasbourg, Nov 3, 1929; d Princeton, NJ, Jan 8, 2011).
American historian of Islamic art. The son of the Byzantinist André Grabar, Oleg Grabar studied at the University of Paris, Harvard and Princeton, where he received his Ph.D. in 1955. He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan in 1954 and taught at Harvard from 1969, where he was named Aga Khan Professor in 1980. A decade later he was appointed to the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, from which he retired in 1998. He, along with Richard Ettinghausen, was largely responsible for the post-World War II explosion of interest in the study of Islamic art and the training of many scholars and teachers. Initially focused on the architecture of the Umayyad period and the excavation of the Syrian site of Qasr al-Hayr East, Grabar’s interests quickly burgeoned to encompass an unusually wide range of subjects, including how Islamic art developed out of and transformed earlier traditions, the city of Jerusalem and its monuments, Arabic and Persian illustrated manuscripts, Islamic palaces, the nature of ornament, as well as the practice of architecture in the Islamic world today. Many of his writings explored the theoretical aspects of Islamic art and its study....