The Met’s Islamic collection reopens!

Met Islamic Collection

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City opened a newly reinstalled exhibit this week for their Islamic art collection, called the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia.

The exhibit is a treasure trove for calligraphy. From the New York Times’ art review:

The written word is omnipresent. Whether in the form of love poems, proverbs or passages from Islam’s holy book, the Koran, calligraphy spreads like a fine net over everything, creating an art that almost literally speaks.

Learn more on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

Islamic Arts Magazine

I recently found out about the magazine Islamic Arts, which offers a great way to stay current on issues related to Islamic Art and calligraphy. I just subscribed and have yet to finish my first issue, but so far I’m quite impressed with this publication. It’s a digital magazine, so you have to download it to your computer to read it, but I think you will find it well worth the effort.


Islamic Art Collection at the Met is now online

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has recently announced the completion of their online database, which includes their entire Islamic Art Collection. A keyword search for calligraphy brings up 3 pages of interesting manuscripts that are definitely worth checking out.

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.

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/).

Arabic Calligraphy, Sichuan Style

These works were sent to me by a calligrapher named Abdullah Ma-qibing. Abdullah is a Chinese Muslim from Chengdu. I thought that in light of the recent media attention given to the conflict between Chinese Muslims and the Chinese government in Urumqi, it would be fitting to feature the work of this artist. Each piece is written on traditional Chinese rice paper, using calligraphy pens 4-5 cm wide.

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Color in Islamic Art and Culture

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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!

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.

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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