Our Mission

The Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network

Our mission is share expertise, ideas and best practice on Islamic art and material culture with a focus on museum collections from across the UK.

The SSN for Islamic Art and Material Culture aims to build confidence amongst museum staff across the country, including those who have little or no expertise in this area. We offer a range of specialist support packages and programmes of professional skills development in collections and engagement.

In this way, we help museum staff unlock the potential of collections, providing a mechanism through which audiences that are reflective of the diversity of contemporary England can be engaged and grown.

The SSN is hosted by Birmingham Museums and is managed by a committee composed of members of institutions across the UK, including representatives from national and regional museums. Currently we receive funding through Arts Council England and the Art Fund.

What we offer


Special Partnerships

By developing partnerships we enable active communities for those working with Islamic art and material culture in UK museums

Study Days

Study days develop museum professionals, while encouraging knowledge exchange and active learning through presentations, participatory group activities and discussion

Specialist Support Schemes

The scheme develops institution’s understanding of their Islamic art collections, supports knowledge exchange between staff and volunteers, and builds their engagement with both existing and new audiences

Our Team

Dr Rebecca Bridgman Curatorial Team Leader, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Neil Stevenson Project Manager, SSN Islamic Art and Material Culture

Dr Mariam Rosser-Owen Curator of the Arab World, Victoria and Albert Museum

Qaisra Khan Independent Curator of Islamic Art

Dr Catherine Harvey Freelance Curator and Researcher

Dr Francesca Leoni Assistant Keeper and Curator of Islamic Art, Ashmolean Museum

Sofia Fallon Learning and Outreach Officer, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Catrin Jones Curator, The Holburne Museum