Oleg Grabar (1929-2011) is perhaps best know for his ground-breaking approach to integrating visual evidence to cultural history within Islam. Grabar received degrees from both Harvard and the University of Paris in 1950. In 1955, he obtained a PhD from Princeton University. He served on the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1954-69, before moving to Harvard University as a full professor. From 1964 to 1972, he directed excavations on a Medieval Islamic town at Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi, Syria, work later described in a two-volume book he coauthored, City in the Desert, Qasr al-Hayr East. In 1980, Grabar became Harvard’s first Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture. He was a founding editor of the journal Muqarnas in 1983. Grabar received the Charles Lang Freer Medal in 2001 and, in 2010, the Chairman’s Award at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Doha, Qatar. Major books include The Shape of the Holy (Princeton, 1996), The Mediation of Ornament (Princeton, 1992), The Great Mosque of Isfahan (NYU, 1990), and The Formation of Islamic Art (Yale, 1973).