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Talks and Lectures

Traditions, In-Between Spaces and Iconography: Talk with Nadhra Khan

Sikh scholar Dr. Nadhra Khan explores the iconography used in portraits of the founder of Sikhism.

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Join noted scholar Dr. Nadhra Khan, associate professor of history at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan, for this illuminating talk commemorating the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhism: Nanak, Sikhan da Guru, Musalmanaṇ da Pir! Khan explores the iconography used in portraits of Guru, reviving forgotten relationships between words and images.

In paintings dating to the 17th through 19th centuries, Guru is usually portrayed with a fixed set of attributes, each laden with references to cultural practices and beliefs. While a few of these associations are still in circulation, many are long forgotten, a consequence of colonial attitudes toward vernacular practices. In this lecture, Khan focuses on a particular object we find in Guru images, his chadar, or shawl, and the oral or written traditions it signifies.

The program also features filmmaker A. K. Sandhu’s short documentary “Expressions of Divinity,” showcasing the first U.S. museum exhibition of contemporary Sikh art, presented in honor of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak.

Co-presented in partnership with the Sikh Foundation,

The tickets for this talk are now closed; tickets still available for purchase at the museum. 

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