Research Grants

 In the first initiative of its kind, the Palestinian Museum has announced 17 grants for research on Palestinian culture. The initiative comes in fulfilment of one of the key components of the Museum’s 2019–2023 strategic plan and is run by its newly-established research and knowledge department. The department’s programme is aimed at  fostering civic engagement and reflexion, producing and disseminating knowledge about Palestine, and addressing knowledge gaps about Palestinian history and culture. The department’s first annual programme is made possible by the generous support of Ghalia and Omar al-Qattan.

Accordingly, the Museum has issued an open call to academic and field researchers to submit papers on four main topics: ‘Art History in Palestine and its Discourses from the 19th Century until the Late-20th Century’; ‘The Palestinian Coast: from the Late Ottoman Period until the Present’; ‘History of Printing in Jerusalem’; and ‘New Perspectives on Contemporary Palestinian Culture’. 

Application Results Postponed
The announcement of research grants application results has been postponed until 15 July 2020 due to the exceptional present circumstances.

This research programme is generously funded by Ghalia and Omar Al-Qattan.

To read more about the research grants, click here.

A special message from the Palestinian Museum on the first anniversary of Kamal Boullata’s passing
Kamal Boullata: A Palestinian original

Today we celebrate the late historian, artist and art critic, Kamal Boullata (1942 – 6 Aug 2019), who was able to encapsulate the unique and complex reality of Jerusalem when he grasped its luminosity and described it by writing : ‘I did not know that light would always be present in my work and that it would be the key element in my research as well. Now, after all these years, when I look back to where I began, and where I have arrived, I find it all relates to light’s glow, the same one I saw as a child in Jerusalem.’[1]

Boullata was a founding figure in Palestinian visual arts history, which he chronicled in his books, among them, Manifesting Place: A Study of Modern Palestinian Visual Art (Arabic, 2000); and Palestinian Art: From 1850 to the Present (2009). These books are of foundational significance to the historiography of Palestinian art and the documentation of its progression and interaction with contemporary Palestinian issues. Boullata sought to track the development of modern Palestinian art and investigate the role that the Nakba and defeat had in shaping its features.[2] He was able to identify and critique the role that Palestinian art played in formulating national identity.[3] Among his most significant research contributions was the chronicling of Jerusalem’s icon making practices and their distinct local features. Boullata also rediscovered an entire generation of early-20th century Jerusalemite visual arts pioneers. He also argued for the linkage between the development of Palestinian visual arts and icon making, while also detailing the commonalities and differences among the practices of different generations of artists in Palestine and the Diaspora.

On the occasion of the first anniversary of Kamal Boullata’s passing, and to honour his memory and legacy of his work, the Palestinian Museum officially announces the  first iteration of its first strategic research project aimed at filling knowledge gaps about the history of Palestinian culture.

This project will focus on Palestinian Visual Arts, by supporting research into late 19th to late-20th century Palestinian art history, seeking novel methodologies and perspectives on the field. This project aims to deepen and bolster qualitative research within a critical and historical framework by focusing on Palestine’s material, political and socioeconomic conditions. The project will culminate with the publication of a book, and conference organised by the Palestinian Museum to launch and discuss the research. The Palestinian Museum is partnering with PARC (Palestinian American Research Centre) to evaluate the 106 research proposals submitted by researchers residing in seven countries. The announcement of the selected research proposal abstracts is postponed by a few weeks due to the pandemic.

This programme is realised with the generous support of Ghalia and Omar al-Qattan

To read more on Palestinian Journeys:
Palestinian Visual Arts (I): Beginners (1795–1955), click here
Palestinian Visual Arts (II): Pathfinders (1755–1965), click here

Palestinian Visual Arts (III): Explorers (1965–1995), click here

[1] Rhonda A. Saad, Palestinian Art: From 1850 to the Present, by Kamal Boullata.
Book Review:
[2] Uninterrupted Fugue: Arts by Kamal Boullata, Edited by Brucu Dogramaci:
[3] There Where You Are Not: Kamal Boullata Selected Writings, edited by Finbarr Barry Flood: