New Gallery of Islamic Art in Detroit

The Detroit Institute of Arts opened a new Gallery of Islamic Art on February 28, 2010.

From the Associated Press:

DETROIT (AP) – In the heart of the largest concentration of Muslims in the U.S., the Detroit Institute of Arts this weekend is opening a new permanent gallery of Islamic art showcasing exhibits including a rare 15th-century Quran of a Mongol conqueror.

Among the gallery’s treasures: one of the largest-known Ottoman mosque candlesticks from about 1500; an elevated giant cut-velvet summer floor covering made between 1650 and 1700 in Turkey, believed to be the largest of its kind; and a 15th-century leather-bound Quran, whose gold-flecked paper was given by the Ming emperor of China to Timur, one of the Mongol conquerors of the Middle East.

Check out the collection on their website: http://www.dia.org/asp/search/ExecuteSearch.asp?DID=3&department=Islamic%20Art.

Arabic Calligraphy in the Ottoman era

An event at the Dubai Arabic Calligraphy Centre

The Dubai Arabic Calligraphy Centre cordially invites you to attend a specialized set of lectures that covers the history of the art of Arabic calligraphy.

By Dr. Sulieman Berk

7-9 January 2010, 6 to 8.30 pm, Luxury Ball Room, Centre of Excellence – BLDG 2, Gate Village, Dubai International Financial Center

For inquiries, please contact: 050 5533835

See the invitation below for further details.

Discover Islamic Art

discoverIslamicArt

Discover Islamic Art (http://www.discoverislamicart.org), a project of the Museum with No Frontiers, is a virtual museum that “explores Islamic art and material culture in the Mediterranean region.” This website is an excellent resource for educators and those who are interested in learning more about Islamic art.

You can explore the museum’s permanent collection by country and/or by dynasty. Use the “My Museum” feature to gather and save your favorite items from the Museum’s collection in one place.

Check out their introductory guide to Islamic art in the Mediterranean (http://www.discoverislamicart.org/gai/ISL/), their online exhibit on Arabic calligraphy (http://www.discoverislamicart.org/exhibitions/ISL/arabic_calligraphy/index.php) and the teacher’s guide with several games and educational activities (http://www.discoverislamicart.org/learn/).

Color in Islamic Art and Culture

iad_template_01

From the conference website:

The Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art, organized by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom, is a leading international conference on Islamic art and culture. It is co-sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, VCUQatar and the Qatar Foundation. Previous symposia were held in Richmond, Virginia in 2004 and in Doha, Qatar in 2007. The third biennial symposium, And Diverse Are Their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture, will be held in Córdoba, Spain, November 2-4, 2009.

For those of you interested in studying Islamic Art in more detail and depth, the Hamad Bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art offers a great chance to interact with scholars and artists in the field. Register now!

New website: From Pen to Printing Press

The Indiana University Art Museum recently launched an online exhibit entitled, “From Pen to Printing Press: Ten Centuries of Islamic Book Arts in Indiana University Collections.”

This permanent online exhibit is an adaptation of the Indiana University Art Museum special exhibition, “From Pen to Printing Press: Ten Centuries of Islamic Book Arts” which was on display from March 7-June 30, 2009. All of the materials featured on this website are housed in Indiana University collections on the Bloomington campus and are accessible to the general public.

The online exhibit features over 50 individual objects, most of which are accompanied by catalogue information and descriptions. Objects are arranged into the following categories: Writing Implements and Materials, Manuscripts, Paintings and Illustrations, Miniature Manuscripts and Scrolls, Early Printed Books, and Modern Revivals.

For more information visit the exhibit website: http://www.iub.edu/~iuam/online_modules/islamic_book_arts/.

frompentoprintingpress

Winner of the Jameel Prize 2009

From the Victoria and Albert Museum (http://www.vam.ac.uk):

On 7 July 2009 Iranian born Afruz Amighi was awarded the first Jameel Prize for her work 1001 Pages (2008). The Prize, worth £25,000, is an international art prize launched by the V&A to award contemporary artists and designers inspired by the Islamic traditions of craft and design.

1001 Pages is from a series of shadow pieces in which Amighi uses light and shadow to create complex and engaging designs. She employs a stencil burner to hand-cut the design from a thin, porous sheet of plastic – a material used in the construction of refugee tents. The work is suspended, and an overhead projector illuminates the piece, which casts a shadow of the intricate pattern against a wall. The winning work is on display in the new Studio Gallery (8 July – 13 September) alongside work by the 8 other artists shortlisted for The Jameel Prize.

For more information, visit the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/jameel_prize/index.html.

59033-large

59034-small59035-small

The 10th Tehran International Poster Biennale 2009

From the Khatt Network (http://www.khtt.net):

Since poster design in contemporary Iranian graphics has found a significant and established status in the international scene, the Center for Visual Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in collaboration with the Institute for Development of Visual Art plans to organize the 10th Tehran International Poster Biennial.

The deadline for submissions is August 22, 2009. Visit the Khatt Network for more information.

design-by-ghobad-shiva

Islamic Calligraphy at the Met

h2_42136Mirror, 12th century, Iran. Cast bronze. Diam. 7 5/8 in. (19.3 cm). Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.136)

I received this announcement by e-mail yesterday:

Exhibition Announcement: Masterpieces of Islamic Calligraphy from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

June 2, 2009 – September 1, 2009
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Masterpieces of calligraphy from the Islamic Art Department’s collections will be on display on the south balcony for a period of three months, showcasing the calligraphic art of the Islamic world, from Spain to south Asia and beyond. The works, ranging in date from the 8th to the 19th century, will include several richly illuminated Qur’anic manuscripts, as well as sumptuous album pages in a variety of scripts, examples of inlaid metalwork, fine ceramics, and rare textiles with calligraphic elements. Many calligraphic scripts from early kufic to the later refined nasta’liq, will be shown in a range of media, demonstrating the impact and importance of this most quintessential of art forms.

This installation is presented in conjunction with Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas, a ten-day festival and conference in New York City celebrating Islamic culture (June 5-14 2009).

(To see the other events associated with this festival, visit http://muslimvoicesfestival.org/events/associate-partner-events.)

Al Basmalah

Al Basmalah | May 20-29

Exhibition of Arabic Calligraphy
Showcasing artistic paintings by renowned calligraphers from the Arab and Islamic worlds

Farjam Collection Gallery (Gate Village, Building 4)
Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC)
10am-10pm

Al Basmalah Exhibition

Al Basmalah page 2

Arabesque at the Kennedy Center

Arabesque at the Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is currently hosting a three-week festival called Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World (February 23-March 15, 2009). The festival includes music, dance and theatre events, as well as exhibits by contemporary artists.

I visited the festival last Saturday, and was excited to see the work of two calligraphers displayed. Hassan Massoudy is an Iraqi artist who lives in France. He uses a large brush and vibrant colors to create his calligraphic art. His work was exhibited at the Kennedy Center in a 3-sided multimedia display, featuring examples of his art and video footage of him creating calligraphy.

Hassan Massoudy Calligraphy

Hassan Massoudy Calligraphy

Farah Behbehani is a graphic designer and calligrapher from Kuwait. For her masters’ thesis, she created a series of calligraphic illustrations based on a classic Sufi poem, The Conference of the Birds. Each illustration was accompanied by a decoding system which she describes as, “designed to make Arabic calligraphy more accessible for non-Arabic readers.” The spread below is from her book, which can be ordered from Amazon.com.

Farah Behdehani

Farah Behbehani Calligraphy