Treat yourself to an afternoon with Dr. Navina Najat Haidar as she explores the dynamic history of India’s seventeenth-century Mughal age. Celebrated for their opulence, endowing the empire with a global perception of its fabulous wealth, the culture of jewels drew the wider Mughal world together in traditions of gift giving, trade and shared styles. Jewels also occupied the symbolic realm where talismanic associations accorded great value, both material and metaphorical. Yet the glittering façade concealed the political and social forces at play, as deadly power shifts occurred both within and beyond the borders of the empire.
Dr. Navina Najat Haidar presently serves as Curator in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Museum, she has organized a number of special exhibitions, including Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700, Opulence and Fantasy (2015); Treasures from India; Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection (2014); and Divine Pleasures: Rajput Painting from the Kronos Collection (2016). From 2002-2011, she was deeply involved in the planning of the Museum’s permanent Islamic galleries. She is author and co-author on several exhibition catalogues including Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art (2011) Navina lectures on Islamic and Indian art, and also publishes regularly in scholarly journals. She also teaches courses on Indian and Islamic manuscript painting and on connoisseurship. She is active in various digital projects and serves on the museum’s Journal and Diversity and Inclusion committees. Navina is currently planning a future exhibition on the Mughal period. She is concurrently working on a book on the Mughal pierced architectural jali screen and on a research project on diamonds. Navina is also involved in several independent educational, conservation and creative initiatives in the Middle East and India.