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Photo by Leisa Thompson

Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art

Curator: Doris Duke
January 25 - May 5, 2014
Taubman I

Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art is the first exhibition to present Duke’s five-acre Honolulu estate and its collections to audiences throughout the continental United States. The exhibition illustrates Duke’s fascination with Islamic art, her extensive travels in Muslim countries, and her work with a broad array of individuals, including scholars, dealers, and artisans. The creation of Shangri La and its carefully orchestrated surrounding landscape and interior design is documented through photographs–both historical and newly commissioned works by Tim Street-Porter, drawings, and a newly created architectural model.

Duke’s travels, including her around-the-world honeymoon trip in 1935, as well as her place in the history of mid-20th century collecting of Islamic art, are traced through photographs, films, correspondence and ephemera.  Some sixty objects—ceramics, textiles, paintings, tile panels, and full-scale architectural elements—are juxtaposed with historic photographs and drawings, dramatically demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between the house and its collections.

In addition to Ms. Duke’s collections, the exhibition will also include new works by eight contemporary artists–all of Islamic background–including Walid Raad, Shahzia Sikander, and Afruz Amighi. All eight artists participated in the Shangri La Artists-in Residence program. Organized by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the exhibition is curated by Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins.


This exhibition was organized by The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which is also providing generous support for its presentation at UMMA and national tour. Additional lead support for UMMA’s installation is provided by the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan Office of the President. Other generous support is provided by the Monroe-Brown Foundation Discretionary Fund for Outreach to the State of Michigan, the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund, and the University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies, CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, Department of the History of Art, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Institute for the Humanities, Islamic Studies Program, LSA Theme Semester, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.