The Biography of a Syrian Interior: Shangri La's Damascus Room
An illustrated lecture by Dr. Keelan Overton, Curator of Islamic Art at Shangri La
July 12, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
University of Hawai'i at Manoa Art Auditorium
2535 McCarthy Mall Admission is FREE
In the early 1950s, Doris Duke (d. 1993) acquired an 18th century Damascene interior for her private Honolulu residence known as Shangri La. This talk traces the history of Duke's lifelong interest in Syria and its domestic interiors from 1938 until the early 1980s. Devoting attention to Duke's travels in the country in 1938 and 1952-53, it examines the circumstances surrounding the Damascus Room's acquisition, contextualizes it in relation to in situ examples, and considers how Duke's interest in Syrian interiors resonated with broader trends in the history of collecting, display, and cultural heritage preservation.
The newly restored and opened Damascus Room will be included in Shangri La public tours from July 11 and on. Shangri La: A Center for Islamic Arts & Cultures