Senior Curator (Islamic Decorative Arts)
Area: World Cultures
Diploma, Oriental Art and Archaeology, Halle University, Germany, 1971
Ph. D., Halle University, 1974
Karin Ruehrdanz was appointed curator of Islamic Decorative Arts at the Royal Ontario Museum and Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto in 2007.
Having received her Ph.D., Karin taught Islamic Art and Archaeology at Halle and Bamberg Universities and at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1993/94 she completed her research on illustrated histories of the prophets at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (published jointly with Rachel Milstein and Barbara Schmitz: Stories of the Prophets: Illustrated Manuscripts of Qisas al-Anbiya’, Costa Mesa: Mazda, 1999). In recent years her research focused on illustrated Arabic and Persian encyclopaedias of natural history, on Central Asian miniature painting, and on the formation of collections of Islamic art in Central Europe since early modern times. Analysis of illustrated Shahnama manuscripts in their cultural contexts remains an ongoing theme in her work, as well as the visual responses to different literary genres.