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Song of Songs Erotic Love Poetry book cover

Song of Songs: Erotic Love Poetry

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003.

Capturing the inherent longing expressed in this book of the Bible, my illustrated version of the Song of Songs was inspired by and references traditional love poetry and art from India. For more information visit

In the summer of 2011 the magazine Sufi featured an interview by Llewellyn Smith with Judith Ernst and Prof. Vasudha Narayanan on Love, Passion and Divinity that discusses the Song of Songs and traditions of Indian love poetry.

The Golden Goose King book cover

The Golden Goose King

Parvardigar Press, 1995.

This an an illustrated version of one of the Buddhist Jataka tales, one of over 500 such stories told by the Buddha. While it is a shortened version of the tale and was aimed at a children’s book audience, it’s a straight-forward retelling of the story based on the earliest written versions in Pali. For more information visit or

Muslim Networks book cover

Articles and Talks

“A Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian Complex,” a talk given for a panel discussion: “Islamic Art, Religion and History”, Nasher Museum at Duke, Sept. 26, 2013. (In conjunction with the exhibit, Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art). You can read a pdf of the talk; the images referred to in the talk are here.

“The Problem of Islamic Art,” published in Muslim Networks: From Hajj to Hip Hop, ed. miriam cooke and Bruce B. Lawrence, Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks Series (University of North Carolina Press, 2005.)

This is the published version of a talk that I gave at least twice, first at a conference at Duke University and then later at Galeri Seni, the Faculty of Art and Design, Universiti Teknologi MARA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can read a pdf of the article and follow along with a pdf of the PowerPoint presentation (this PowerPoint corresponds to the talk in Malaysia and mostly follows the published version).

“The Interplay of Vision and Observation in the Art of M.F. Husain,” a talk with PowerPoint presentation given at a conference titled “M.F. Husain, 2010: The World is My Canvas” at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, in September, 2010. This conference corresponded with the artist M.F. Husain’s 93rd birthday, and he was in attendance. He passed away just a few months later. You can read a pdf of the paper and also follow along with a pdf of the PowerPoint presentation.

“Envisioning the Unseen: The Relationship Between Vision and Sight in Art and Illustration,” a talk with PowerPoint presentation, originally given at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah Museum, Kuwait, May 13, 2008. A shortened version was published in “Hadeeth ad-Dar”, a publication by the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah. This version was presented to the Orange County Artists Guild in February of 2009. You can read a pdf of the paper and also follow along with a pdf of the PowerPoint presentation.

“Judith Ernst: Ceramic Works,” a beautifully designed booklet published by TÜRKKAD in Istanbul, Turkey in 2009. It shows images of several of my ceramic pieces with my descriptions printed in both English and Turkish. You can see a pdf of the booklet.

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