Cultural Heritage and Museums Lecture Series
Images courtesy Turquoise Mountain

From Kabul to D.C.:

Preserving and Presenting Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage

Dr. Thomas Wide

Assistant Director for Special Projects, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution


Thursday, November 2 at 4:30 pm

Refreshments will be served


This talk introduces the work of Turquoise Mountain, an NGO that has spent the last decade restoring the historic neighborhood of Murad Khani in Kabul, Afghanistan. Aside from restoring 112 historic and community buildings, the project has worked to revive Afghanistan’s imperiled craft traditions, supporting training and business development for woodworkers, carpet-weavers, jewelers, calligraphers, and ceramicists. In addition, Turquoise Mountain has begun developing exhibitions, most recently at the Smithsonian. This talk explores the potential and challenges of such work in Afghanistan, and draws comparisons with cultural heritage initiatives in other parts of the world.  


Dr. Thomas Wide is the Assistant Director for Special Projects at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries and curator of the recent exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan. Previously, Dr. Wide was Managing Director of Turquoise Mountain.


Sponsored by the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH), the Yale Council on Middle East Studies, and the Yale Peabody Museum.