Mika Natif

photo of Mika Natif
Associate Professor of Art History
Art History Program; Faculty Advisor, Art History (graduate)
Smith Hall of Art, Rm. a101, 801 22nd St NW; Washington DC 20052
[email protected]


Dr. Mika Natif (Ph.D., New York University – Institute of Fine Arts, 2006) is a historian of Medieval art focusing on the intercultural exchanges and global connections that Muslim societies forged with the European sphere in the pre-Modern era. Her primary field of research is Islamic painting, with special interest in Central Asia, Iran, India, and the Mediterranean. She had held teaching positions at Princeton University and at the College of the Holy Cross (MA), and curatorial positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and most recently at the Harvard Art Museums (as Assistant Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art). She has conducted research in archives, galleries and museums all over Europe, as well as Turkey, Israel, and India.


Current Research

Her current book manuscript, Mughal Occidentalism, explores the intercultural and artistic exchanges between Muslim India and Europe.



  • Co-editor and co-author of Eros and Sexuality in Islamic Art (Ashgate, September 2013).
  • 2017: "Poetry, Policy and Landscape Representation in Akbari Painting." Lecture at Harvard University's Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
  • Her publications include articles and books chapters on Islamic book arts, on visual culture, idol anxiety, and objects of pilgrimage.



Ph.D in Art History, New York University