Oleg Grabar

Oleg Grabar

Aga Khan Professor, 1980-1990
Oleg Grabar photo

Oleg Grabar (November 3, 1929 – January 8, 2011) attended the University of Paris, where he studied ancient, medieval, and modern history, before moving to the US in 1948. He completed degrees from both Harvard and the University of Paris in 1950. In 1955, he obtained a PhD from Princeton University.

He served on the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1954–69, before moving to Harvard University as a full professor. In 1980, Grabar became Harvard's first Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture. He was a founding editor of the journal Muqarnas in 1983. He became emeritus from Harvard in 1990, and then joined the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, becoming emeritus there in 1998.

Professor Grabar's major works include City in the Desert: Qasr al-Hayr East (Harvard, 1978), The Shape of the Holy (Princeton, 1996), The Mediation of Ornament (Princeton, 1992), The Great Mosque of Isfahan (NYU, 1990), Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shahnama (Chicago, 1980), and The Formation of Islamic Art (Yale, 1973).