The New York Times recently highlighted the finesse and acumen of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Islamic Art advisor, Sabiha Al Khemir, on the cusp of the upcoming exhibition she has curated for the DMA called Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, which opens on March 30 after traveling from Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, Spain.
Al Khemir, who came on as a senior advisor at the museum in November 2012, has been a leading force in the promotion and exhibition of Islamic art and artifacts, in Dallas and elsewhere, championing the rich histories, traditions and beauty of the ancient culture. Already, in her short tenure at the DMA, she has helped push the DMA to the forefront of the dialogue surrounding the display of Islamic art, helping that museum secure, for the next 15 years, the covetable collection of Edmund de Unger, which contains some 2,000 Islamic art objects.
For the exhibition Nur (which is the Arabic word for metaphysical light), Al Khemir was able to secure all of the art objects she requested, some of which have never been seen in the United States. This required that the curator travel to some of the most war-torn places on the planet to retrieve them: “There are days when I wonder why I do this, and then I see it in the eyes of people looking — sight becoming insight,” she told the Times, adding, “These pieces have a huge world inside.”