Creating Sanctuary
with Dr. Azra Akšamija, Dr. Michael Chagnon, and Cheryl Haines


Creating Sanctuary
with Dr. Azra Akšamija, Dr. Michael Chagnon, and Cheryl Haines

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020, 2 pm

This event is cancelled. Ticket purchases for this event will be automatically refunded by March 20, 2020. Please go here for more information and updates on the Museum’s response to COVID-19.


From safe haven to sacred space to something entirely unique: the concept of “sanctuary” has a different meaning for each of the 36 artists in the Museum exhibition Sanctuary. In this talk celebrating its opening, the curators share their experiences creating, with the artists, a space where we can contemplate our shared humanity.


Dr. Azra Akšamija is an artist and architectural historian, Director of the MIT Future Heritage Lab, and an Associate Professor in the MIT Art, Culture, and Technology Program. She investigates the politics of identity and cultural memory on the scale of the body (clothing and wearable technologies), on the civic scale (religious architecture and cultural institutions), and within the context of history and globalization. Her work has been published and exhibited worldwide and she is the recipient of the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.


Dr. Michael Chagnon joined the Aga Khan Museum as Curator in May 2019. A specialist of painting and the arts of the book of the early modern Persianate sphere, he has held curatorial positions at Japan Society in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Chagnon’s substantial teaching experience includes a recent graduate seminar on Persianate painting at Columbia University, New York. He received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 2015.


Cheryl Haines is the founding executive director of the FOR-SITE Foundation and principal of Haines Gallery in San Francisco. She curated @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, among many other exhibitions and site-specific public programs that seek to expose new audiences to contemporary art and advance the discourse on art about place. A founding advisor for the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium, she has also served on the Contemporary Advisory Committee at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.



March 21 –August 23, 2020

Insight Tour
Sanctuary with Dr. Michael Chagnon

Tuesday, April 21


Get connected. Stay engaged. Sign up for the latest updates from the Aga Khan Museum