Join scholar, art advisor and curator Dr. Layla Diba, as she deconstructs ideas of East and West Qajar Iran through paintings and visual culture. Making connections to the Aga Khan Museum’s Permanent Collection, she provides an illustrated exploration into royal images, landscapes, and photographs that help contextualize this remarkable era.
Dr. Layla Diba is an independent scholar, art advisor and curator. She has been Director and Chief Curator of the Negarestan Museum in Tehran (1975–79), art advisor for the Private Secretariat of HM Queen Farah of Iran, and Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Islamic Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In 2006, Dr. Diba was invited to develop programming and strategy for the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and to serve on the Museum’s Asian Art Council and Middle East Focus Group. She has curated the landmark The Qajar Epoch: Royal Persian Paintings exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1998, exhibitions at the Lehmann-Maupin and Leila Taghinia Milani Heller Galleries in New York and served as an advisor to the Doris Duke Foundation. Her publications include Turkmen Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn Wolf Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011). In 2013 she co-curated Iran Modern, the first major exhibition devoted to Iranian Modern Art for the Asia Society Museum, New York (Sept. 5, 2013- January 5, 2014) and co-edited the accompanying publication. Dr. Diba holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. Her articles, including over 40 essays on Iranian art, have appeared in numerous scholarly publications. Dr. Diba sits on the Board of The Soudavar Memorial Foundation. She is also a collector of Persian and Islamic art and a benefactor and advocate for numerous Persian cultural causes.