Marie Lukens Swietochowski died on September 5, 2011 at her home in Manhattan at the age of 83. She was known to her family and friends as Mimi. A pioneering art historian of Islamic Art, Mimi spent 54 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She worked on the 1975 installation of the Islamic galleries and also wrote and researched in the fields of Persian, Indian and Turkish art and Persian miniatures. She contributed to many important volumes, from The Emperor’s Album (1987)—writing on the illuminated borders of a 17th century Mughal album—to The Islamic World (1985) which illustrated masterpieces of the museum’s collection. Mimi curated many exhibitions, large and small, including an exhibition of Ottoman period calligraphy and Islamic works from Russian collections. She also wrote scores of labels for objects on display at the Mueum. Most recently, Mimi served as a Research Curator for the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia which will open this fall. Mimi grew up in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia, and later the Whitemarsh Valley, Pennsylvania. She attended Springside School for Girls and Chatham Hall School in Virginia. She earned a B.A. from Bryn Mawr and a M.A. in Islamic Art from New York University. Throughout her life, she traveled extensively in the Middle East with her husband of 40 years, Tadeusz Swietochowski, a fellow scholar whom she met while they were both on research grants in Istanbul in 1968. She will be remembered by her friends and family for her spirited sense of humor, hospitality, and kindness. In addition to her husband Tadeusz, Mimi is survived by brothers Lewis N. Lukens, Benjamin C. Lukens, Robert A. Lukens, and 12 nieces and nephews. Burial was a private ceremony at St. Thomas Church, Whitemarsh, in the family plot.
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