Aga Khan Fellow
Ridha Moumni is an historian of Art and Archaeology with an academic and professional specialization in Antiquity and the early and modern art of Tunisia. Trained in France in classical Archaeology, he earned his PhD in North African Roman Architecture at La Sorbonne University before joining the Villa Medici as a fellow of the French Academy in Rome. In Rome, he started working on early modern Tunisian Art History and the history of the discovery of Carthage in relation to local collecting practices. Awarded the “Marc de Montalembert Prize” by the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris (2012), he returned to Tunis in 2014 where he worked as an independent research-based curator. Dr Moumni curated exhibitions of photography and modern art, among them l’Eveil d’une Nation (The Awakening of a Nation: Art at the Dawn of Modern Tunisia in 2016). This exhibition displayed for the first time to the general public Tunisian Royal collections of paintings and fine arts acquired during the period of great reforms in the 19th century. Currently, as an Aga Khan Fellow at the Department of Art History of Harvard University, he is conducting research at Harvard’s Center of Middle Eastern Studies on the collection of Muhammad Khaznadar, the first Tunisian dignitary to excavate the ancient site of Carthage. A second project explores the role of the arts in nation building in Postcolonial Tunisia. Dr Moumni recently published with Elsa Despiney Artistes de Tunisie (Cérès Editions, 2019), a book on Tunisian visual artists from the 19th century to the Revolution. He is currently at work on a book project on the collections of Bardo National Museum.