Dr. Jochen Sokoly

Associate Professor


+974 4402 0615
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Islamic Art and Architecture


D.Phil, University of Oxford, 2002
M.Phil, University of Oxford, 1992
M.A., SOAS University of London, 1999 (Distinction)
B.A., SOAS University of London, 1989 (First Class Honors)


Jochen Sokoly is Associate Professor of Art History of the Islamic World at VCUarts Qatar where he also served as Gallery Director between 2004–2011. He has curated exhibitions on contemporary art of the Middle East and lectures on the art of the Islamic World. He has been a research fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Aga Khan Program at Harvard. Sokoly’s research focuses on the culture of the Early Islamic caliphates, in particular on inscribed textiles within the context of court, administration and manufacture. He is co-editor with Mary McWilliams of Social Fabrics: Inscribed Textiles from Medieval Egyptian Tombs published by Harvard Art Museums. He has also worked on 18th century British India, particularly the botanical paintings by the Indian painter Zayn al-Din from the collection of Sanskrit scholar Sir William Jones at the Royal Asiatic Society, and plans a study of the drawings of travelers Thomas and William Daniell. Sokoly serves on the Council of the Royal Asiatic Society in London.

Research Interests

Early Islamic caliphates: material culture, archeology, epigraphy, textiles, administration. British India: painters, natural history, collecting. Contemporary art of the MENA region.


Sokoly, Jochen A. Ṭirāz: Production, Administration and Consumption of Inscribed Textiles from Egypt under the Umayyad, ʻAbbāsid and Fāṭimid Dynasties. Two volumes. Wiesbaden: Reichert (forthcoming 2023)

Sokoly, Jochen A. Catalog entry for a group of early Islamic textiles. Collections catalog, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. Doha: Museum of Islamic Art (forthcoming 2022)

Sokoly, Jochen A. Tiraz Textiles in the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait National Museum. London: Thames and Hudson (forthcoming 2022)

McWilliams, Mary with Sokoly, Jochen (eds.) Social Fabrics: Inscribed Textiles from Medieval Egyptian Tombs. Cambridge, New Haven, and London: Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (forthcoming 2022)

Dalal, Radha, Sean Roberts, and Jochen Sokoly (eds.) The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic ArtThe 8th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2021

Sokoly, Jochen A. (2017). "Textiles and Identity." The Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture. Gülru Neçipoglu and Barry Flood (eds.). New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 275-299.


Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Harvard University. “Between Khurasan, Iraq, Egypt and al-Andalus: New Thoughts on the Processes of Commissioning Caliphal Works Under the Early Islamic Caliphates” (2020)

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. “The Enlightenment in late 18th Century Calcutta: Sir William Jones and his botanical interests“ (2019)

Bard Graduate Center, NYU, seminar/webinar on “The Social Life of Textiles”, Dr. Abigail Balbale, “Textiles and Identity”, Fall 2019

Bard Graduate Center, NYU, seminar/webinar on “The Social Life of Textiles”, Dr. Abigail Balbale, “Textiles and Identity”, Fall 2017


Landscapes of Arabia: Camille Zakharia and Tarek Al-Ghoussein (VCUarts Qatar, 15-30 November 2021)

Breaking the Rules: the Indian Miniatures of Ajay and Vinita Sharma (Co-curated with Ayaz Rauf; White Majlis, Shaikh Faisal Museum, Doha April-June 2019)

Funded Research Projects and Grants

Aga Khan Fellowship, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Harvard University (2020)

Presidential Research Quest Fund, VCU (2020)

Faculty Research Grant, VCUarts Qatar (2019)

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, The Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait (2018)

Faculty Research Grant, VCUarts Qatar (2018)    

Max Van Berchem Foundation Research Grant, Geneva (2017)

Faculty Research Grant, VCUarts Qatar (2017)