Friederike Voigt is Principal Curator of Middle East and South Asia, and head of Asia section.

Curators Friederikevoigt 190Px

Friederike Voigt is Principal Curator with particular responsibility for the Middle Eastern and South Asian collections.

She is a specialist on Iranian ceramics of the Qajar period, with a strong interest in cultural exchanges between Iran and Europe in the 19th and 20th century and their contribution to the construction of national identity. Her research focusses on the significance of art and craft, and the role of their makers, for our understanding of social, economic and political processes of change in the country of their origin. She is also interested in collecting practices and networks and develops alternative positions for interpreting and engaging with historical collections. Her work reconsiders their relevance from a post-colonial perspective and creates a platform for collaborations with their source communities.

Friederike Voigt was the lead curator for the galleries ‘Art of Ceramics’ (2019), ‘Patterns of Life’ and ‘Inspired by Nature’ (both 2011). At National Museums Scotland she curated the exhibition ‘Indian Encounters’ (2014-15), using the collector-object relation to examine aspects of Britain’s historical connection with India. She collaborates with artists in the reinterpretation of National Museums Scotland’s collections. The dance performance ‘Azadi’ (2013) by Roxana Vilk enabled visitors to experience Iranian floral and geometric patterns through music and physical movement. A project with students at Edinburgh College of Art on the Middle Eastern collection inspired artistic explorations of urban nomadism and creative cross-fertilisation of textile and jewellery techniques (2018-19).

She worked at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin before joining National Museums Scotland in 2008. She was appointed to her current post in 2019. She has an MA in Iranian studies, Art History and Sociology from Humboldt University Berlin.


Ten selected publications

  1. Voigt, F. (forthcoming) Mementoes of power and conquest: Sikh jewellery in the collection of National Museums Scotland, in H. Lidchi and S. Allan (eds.) Dividing the Spoils, Manchester University Press.
  2. Voigt, F. (forthcoming) For Close Observation: Figurative Tilework in the Architecture of Qajar Iran, in S. Salgirli (ed.) Inside-outside in Islamic art and architecture, Bloomsbury.
  3. Voigt, F. (forthcoming) Equestrian tiles and the rediscovery of underglaze painting in Qajar Iran, in G. Fellinger (ed.) Révéler l’inédit: regarder l’art qajar au 21e siècle, Gingko Publishing.
  4. Voigt, F. (2019) Orientalist collecting of Indian sculpture, in R. Jeffery (ed.) India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present, New Delhi: Social Science Press, 47-72.
  5. Voigt, F., Nicolson, R. and Bennison, L. (2017) Panjab connections: a Young Roots heritage project at National Museums Scotland, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 30, 24-48.
  6. Reiche, I. and Voigt, F. (2012) The master potter Ali Muhammad Isfahani: Insights into the production of decorative underglaze painted tiles in 19th century Iran, in E. Howell and P. Vandenabeele (eds.) Analytical Archaeometry: Selected Topics, Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 502-531.
  7. Troalen, L., Reiche, I., Röhrs, S., Pretzel, B., Burgio, L., Shah, Bh., Peschard, S., Boust, C., Tate, J., Martin, G. and Voigt, F. (2010) ‘To acquire a good name’: Specimens of 19th century Persian tile-making from the Tehran workshop of the master potter Ali Muhammad Isfahani, in E. Hermens and J. Townsend (eds.) Sources and Serendipity: Testimonies of Artists’ Practice, London: Archetype, 119-127.
  8. Voigt, F.(2009) Der Schriftdekor der Lackarbeiten, in R. Neumann (ed.) Aus 1001 Nacht: Islamische Lackkunst in deutschen Museen und Bibliotheken, Münster: Museum für Lackkunst, 234-245.
  9. Voigt, F.(2007) Falkenreiter und Liebespaar: Das Bild im keramischen Architekturdekor Irans zur Zeit der Qadscharen, Baessler-Archiv: Beiträge zur Völkerkunde, 55, 43-101.
  10. Voigt, F.(2002) Qadscharische Bildfliesen im Ethnologischen Museum Berlin, Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

For further publications see: National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

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