Anna McSweeney

Bilderfahrzeuge Project


A research fellow on the Bilderfahrzeuge Project and senior teaching fellow in Islamic art history at SOAS, University of London, I am an art historian with a research focus on the art and material culture of Islamic and post-Islamic Spain. I completed my PhD (SOAS, 2012) on the material culture of the mudéjar community in medieval Spain. I spent a year at the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin when I was an 'Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices' research fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien,  Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2013-14).  

Within the framework of the Bilderfahrzeuge project I am currently writing a biography of a carved wooden ceiling that was made for the Alhambra Palace, and is now one of the key pieces in the collection of the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin. I am interested not only in its fourteenth-century production, but in the long history of the object, from medieval Islamic to contemporary times.  The theme of image transfer is central to another strand of my research that examines how Spain's Islamic culture has been constructed and re-imagined through architecture and visual imagery. I am co-editor of an edited book on Spain and Orientalism in the 19th and 20th Centuries that will be published as a special volume of the Getty-funded art history journal Art in Translation (2017).