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Anila Quayyum Agha (b. 1965); A Beautiful Despair, 2022; lacquered steel and halogen bulb; courtesy of the artist and Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Savannah, GA – June 7, 2024 – Telfair Museums is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition, ‘A Measure of Time,’ which features the work of internationally acclaimed Pakistani American artist Anila Quayyum Agha. Agha’s captivating installations provide viewers with a unique opportunity to delve into identity, culture, and the complexities of the human experience. The immersive exhibition will be open to the public from June 14 to September 15, 2024, at the Jepson Center located at 207 W York Street.

“’A Measure of Time’ features a compelling selection of steel sculptures and mixed-media flatworks in an immersive gallery space…” Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Erin Dunn said, “Agha’s work thoughtfully explores social and political concerns and ultimately offers a contemplative environment for visitors to come together despite any perceived differences for a powerful shared experience.”

Drawing from her experiences as a Pakistani woman and immigrant, Agha’s work is global in scope—crossing cultures and geographic boundaries to explore shared humanity even amid conflict and struggle. With patterns inspired by South Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African designs, A Beautiful Despair uses light and shadow to transform the gallery into an enveloping, communal experience for people of all backgrounds.

“My deep gratitude goes to Telfair Museums and the Jepson Center for contemporary art, as well as Erin Dunn the curator for contemporary art in exhibiting my artwork this summer. I’m thrilled and excited to share my artwork with the people of Savannah and the surrounding areas. I believe creating a visual dialogue, regarding layered histories that transcend time, regions and cultures to create shared spaces allowing intimacy and knowledge, impacts all of us positively, dispelling fear which impedes good ethics, citizenship and unity so we can all be humane,” said Agha.

Stealing Beauty likewise combines light and floral patterns that mingle historical and cultural references. Agha’s two-dimensional works on view encourage visitors to

consider how certain materials and means of making art have been gendered. The exhibition reveals the deeply entwined relationships between culture, religion, labor, gender, and social codes to invoke dialogue and mutual understanding between people of different worldviews.

About the Artist

Anila Quayyum Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan where she received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore. She later immigrated to the United States and attended the University of North Texas, obtaining an MFA in Fiber Arts. Her cube installation Intersections (2014) won both the Public Vote Grand Prize and split the Juried Grand Prize at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Other major awards and grants include the 2019 Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the 2021 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Currently, she resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Augusta, Georgia, where she is a professor and the Eminent Morris Scholar of Fine Art at Augusta University. Drawing from her experiences as a Pakistani woman and immigrant, Agha’s work is global in scope – crossing cultures and boundaries to explore shared humanity. Featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Washington Post, and ARTnews.

Related Programs

– Inaugural Telfair Contemporaries Arty Party | Jepson Center, Thursday, June 13 at 5:30 pm

– Free Family Day | Jepson Center, Saturday, August 10 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

About Telfair Museums

Opening in 1886, Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South and the first U.S. museum founded by a woman. The museum features a world-class art collection in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District and encompasses three sites: the Jepson Center for the Arts, the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Telfair Academy. For more information about Telfair Museums, please visit

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