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.

Calligraphy Lecture at the Victoria and Albert Museum

If you live in or near London, you may want to check out this upcoming lecture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the details of which are as follows:

Arabic Calligraphy Throughout the Ages
Free Lunchtime Lecture
Wednesday 20 July 2011

Join Mourad Boutros, author of Arabic For Designers and Talking About Arabic (Dot Font), to hear about developments in Arabic calligraphy and typography and the rise in global awareness of Arab cultures.

Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A
FREE, no booking required

For further information please visit:

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.

Istanbul, Part Three: Sakıp Sabancı

I apologize for my long absence from this blog. Time to get back to it!

While I was in Istanbul this past March, I had the great fortune to be able to visit the Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi (Museum) in Emirgan, on the European side of the Bosphorus. If you’re ever in Istanbul and interested in the history of calligraphy, this is the place to go.

Though there aren’t an extraordinary number of pieces at the Sakıp Sabancı museum, each one is particularly well chosen, giving the visitor a cohesive overview of calligraphy during the Ottoman empire. The Collection is displayed in the upper storey of the Atlı Köşk mansion, and is part of the permanent collection. Visit the museum’s website for more details about the collection and how to get there. You can also view pieces from their collection on this website’s gallery page; search for “Sakıp Sabancı” to find items from the collection.


You can also view pieces from their collection on this website’s gallery page; search for “Sakıp Sabancı” to find items from the collection.

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:

Discover Islamic Art


Discover Islamic Art (, 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 (, their online exhibit on Arabic calligraphy ( and the teacher’s guide with several games and educational activities (