Calderwood Curatorial Fellow in South Asian and Islamic Art
email@example.com / 617-495-9250
Ph.D., The Courtauld Institute of Art
M.A., The Courtauld Institute of Art
B.F.A., University of Miami
Janet O’Brien is an art historian specializing in paintings from Iran and India from the 17th to the 19th centuries. She has a particular interest in royal portraiture and representation of kingship and empire. Much like her personal history, her research is drawn toward the interconnection of cultures and of disciplines, and she is committed to highlighting the pluralistic nature of South Asian and Islamic societies and promoting a more expansive and inclusive vision. O’Brien has served in curatorial and research positions at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Courtauld Gallery in London. Most recently, she was the Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, D.C. She has taught Persian art and Islamic art at the Courtauld and South Asian art at George Washington University.
“Invader Enthroned: The Indian Portraits of Nādir Shāh and Their Local and British Patrons.” Ars Orientalis 54 (2024). Forthcoming.
“Picturing Nādir Shāh’s Conquest of India: From the Tārīkh-i Nādirī Illustrations to the Battle of Karnal Iconography.” manuscript cultures 18. Forthcoming.
Rettig, Simon, and Janet O’Brien. “Noblesse Oblige.” In Global Lives of Objects, ed. Massumeh Farhad and Sana Mirza, 95–101. London; Washington, D.C.: Giles, in association with the National Museum of Asian Art, 2023.
“Dismembering the Corporate: The Single Portraits of Nādir Shāh and the Changing Body Politic in Post-Safavid Iran.” In The Contest for Rule in Eighteenth-Century Iran: The Idea of Iran, Vol. 11, ed. Charles Melville, 27–56. London: I. B. Tauris, 2022.
Catalogue entries in Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands—Selections from the Hossein Afshar Collection, ed. Aimée Froom, cats. 9, 30–32, 56, 74–75, 78, 80–84. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2019.