Online course
From Isfahan to Istanbul: Arts of the Islamic World

Monday 19 April 2021 - Monday 12 July 2021

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
Sold out

This course is now sold out. To be the first to hear about new V&A Academy courses, sign up for our mailing list by clicking HERE.

What is Islamic Art? This course seeks answers to that question, from the past to the present, through the visual arts of calligraphy, illustrated books and manuscripts and across of diverse range of media including ceramics, metalwork, glass and textiles.

Scroll down to find out more information about this course.

V&A Academy Online art history courses bring you all the richness and rigour of the V&A through an easy-to-use platform built with the latest Microsoft technology.

Learn wherever, whenever. With V&A Academy Online, you can log in to view lectures live and pose your questions in the Q&A, or view the recording later in your own time. Download lecture notes, copies of the slides, and additional study materials from our secure learning environment. Then join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

To find out more, including about how we use your personal data, click on "How do our online courses work?"

Read more
Dr Helen Glaister

Course Director Dr Helen Glaister

Dr Helen Glaister is a sinologist who specialised in Chinese Art History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Helen has been a Course Director at the V&A since 2006 and previously worked at the British Museum. She has lectured for Birkbeck College, the British Library and is a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the autumn course and its standard and quality, which is why I've signed up to the follow-on next term! Looking forward to other Asia related courses. Online Student, December 2020

Course Overview

This course follows the emergence of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula to its swift expansion eastward towards Iran and to the Mediterranean in the West. The arts of the region rapidly evolved displaying distinctive new styles and forms; ceramics, metalwork, glass and textiles developed a new visual language embodying a diverse range of regional characteristics. Illustrated manuscripts and books reached unprecedented levels of technical skill and refinement and architecture of the palace and mosque provided the backdrop to court life and religious practice.

Archaeologists, curators, conservators, collectors and artists discuss their relationship to art, architecture and artefacts across the region.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built with the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

Enrol Now

Online course: From Isfahan to Istanbul: Arts of the Islamic World

19 April 2021 - 12 July 2021


Sold out

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)