The Mashrabiya Project

Museum for Art in Wood



Bayt al-Suheymi, interior with wood-turned mashrabiya, Cairo, Egypt.


Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Das Kapital—Epilogue: The Fable of the End of an Era, 2020; installation with found monument, video, sound. Photo by Timo Kaabi-Linke.


ARCHiNOS Architecture, Osta (Master) Khaled Abdel Hamid in his woodshop with a guest, ca. 2014-15. Courtesy of Agniewszka Dubrowolska.

An exhibition and a publication will contemplate the mashrabiya, a defining element of Islamic visual culture that features elaborate geometric wooden latticework comprising thousands of individual lathe-turned pieces. In newly commissioned works, six artists from the Muslim world—Dana Awartani, Nidaa Badwan, Susan Hefuna, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Majida Khattari, and Hoda Tawakol—will respond to societal and cultural concepts evoked by the mashrabiya. Khaled Abdel-Hamid and other master Egyptian wood turners will lead master classes on wood turning and carving. The wood turners will also engage local practitioners in the creation of the mashrabiya in a workshop space visible to the public. Led by Museum for Art in Wood’s artistic director Jennifer-Navva Milliken, the exhibition will include a gallery-based liwan, a traditional gathering space in Middle Eastern homes, and an augmented reality installation that will transport viewers to restored Islamic heritage sites.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.