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Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

ASIA SOCIETY TEXAS CENTER IN HOUSTON

http://asiasociety.org/texas/exhibitions/wondrous-worlds-art-islam-through-time-place

Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place

9 September 2017 – 25 February 2018

artwork

Featuring more than 100 outstanding works of art, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place will showcase the long history, vast geographic expanse, and amazing diversity of works of art in the Islamic world.

Two factors distinguish this exhibition: first, the inclusion of works from Southeast Asia and East and West Africa, areas largely overlooked in most exhibitions of Islamic art; and second, modern and contemporary works are featured side-by-side with historic objects.

Works in the exhibition cover nearly all media, ranging from carpets to dress to jewelry, ceramics, glass, metal, paintings, prints, calligraphy and photographs. This exhibition will delight viewers with dazzling works that span over 1,400 years of artistry.


 This exhibition is organized by the Newark Museum.

Nationally, the exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and the Anchorage Foundation. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional exhibitions and programming to Asia Society Texas Center. (Asia Society)

Cheers,
Elisabeth

PEARLS ON A STRING

PEARLS ON A STRING: ARTISTS, PATRONS & POETS AT THE GREAT ISLAMIC COURTS

February 26 – May 8, 2016
 
ASIAN ART MUSEUM 
 
San Francisco  www.asianart.org
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I have  always been interested in who and what fueled the high artistic achievements  of the Islamic world from the 16th through the 18th century  –  a time when the global movement of people and their ideas not only tolerated but furthered a cosmopolitan society that was very much inclusive.  Some sixty-four art works, including textiles, paintings, manuscripts, sculpture, metalwork and jeweled objects show us the way through 16th century Mughal India, 17th century Safavid Iran and 18th century Ottoman Turkey.
We follow the lead of a writer,  an artist and a patron.
The writer and historian  Abu’l Fazl ibn Mubarak (1551-1602) was employed at the court of Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1602) as a writer, an advisor, scholar and chief secretary. His interest in religious sciences and philosophy resonated with the liberal sentiments of Akbar who surrounded himself with Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
 I have always been partial to Akbar the Great ever since visiting Fatehpur Sikri in India and visiting his grandfather’s (Emperor Babur the Tiger) tomb and garden in Kabul. And below my favorite portrait of Akbar.
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The artist and painter Muhammad Zaman ibn Haji Yusuf (active 1670-1700) at the Safavid court of Shah Sulayman (reigned 1666-1694) worked  in the cosmopolitan city of Isfahan. He is credited with dramatically changing the style of Persian painting by incorporating European  linear perspective and  contrasting light and shadow.
The great sponsor of the arts Sultan Mahmud I (ruled 1730-1754), the ruler of the Ottoman Empire brought merchants, artisans and the forerunners of engineers to cosmopolitan Istanbul to become personally involved with artistic commissions in the field of architecture, art and engineered and jeweled objects.
Enjoy this journey through once cosmopolitan countries – no longer so accessible to us.
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

BAGHDAD

March 12, 2015 Comments off

IRAQI MUSEUM REOPENS IN BAGHDAD

Twelve years after it was closed, many of the looted antiquities have now been recovered and restored. In the meantime the world heritage body Unesco has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to “discuss” how to protect Iraq’s museums and cultural heritage. Many antiquities and archeological sites have survived 7000 years. Now ISIS has achieved great victories against old stones in Mosul Museum and Nimrud!
No cheers from me.

Elisabeth

iraq

iraqi_museum

UNEARTHING ARABIA: THE ARCHEOLOGICAL ADVENTURES OF WENDELL PHILLIPS

October 13, 2014 Leave a comment

arabs

UNEARTHING ARABIA: THE ARCHEOLOGICAL ADVENTURES OF WENDELL PHILLIPS

SACKLER GALLERY/SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

October 11, 2014 – June 7, 2015

http://newsdesk.si.edu/releases/unearthing-arabia-smithsonian-s-sackler-gallery-uncovers-drama-behind-great-discoveries

Exhibit documents with objects as well as film and photographs the adventures of 28 year old Phillips and his team of scientists, scholars and technicians as they explored South Arabia, present-day Yemen, from 1949-1952, to find the legendary home of the Queen of Sheba.

Explore legends, mysteries and misadventures!

Cheers,

Elisabeth

face

NASTA’LIQ: THE GENIUS OF PERSIAN CALLIGRAPHY

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
September 1, 2014-March 22, 2015
 

The first exhibition to focus on nasta’liq, a calligraphic style that developed during the fourteenth century in Iran demonstrating the transformation of the calligraphic script from “a simple conveyor of the written work to an artistic form of its own”.  This is one of the most fluid calligraphic styles of the Arabic alphabet. I first became aware of it admiring calligraphy of the Mughal Empire  in India after their conquest of South Asia when they used Persian  as their court language.

Cheers,

Elisabeth

folio

Detail of folio from the Gulshan Album, Calligraphy,  probably from Uzbekistan, ca. 1540, ink and opaque watercolor with gold on paper.

The al-Sabah Collection of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Not only the Louvre shines with Islamic art treasures housed in its new Islamic wing…..
THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON WILL SHOW ART FROM ONE OF THE LARGEST AND MOST FAMOUS COLLECTIONS OF ISLAMIC ART  AS PART OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN HOUSTON AND THE AL-SABAH COLLECTION, KUWAIT
 
Starting January 26, 2013.
HOUSTON, TX.- Today Gary Tinterow, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, director of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI), Kuwait, and co-owner with Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah of The al-Sabah Collection, jointly announced the signing of an extraordinary agreement of cooperation between their two institutions. The privately held al-Sabah Collection, one of the greatest collections of Islamic art in the world, will place some 60 objects, ranging from carpets, ceilings and architectural fragments to exquisite ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, scientific instruments and manuscripts, on long-term loan in a dedicated gallery at the MFAH. The Museum will reciprocate with staff exchanges and training and, at a future date, exchange of works of art and exhibitions. The initial term of the renewable agreement is five years, and the first display is expected to be on view for at least one year, beginning January 26, 2013. This display, which contains objects from the 8th to the 18th centuries, made in the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, will demonstrate the development of new aesthetics in Islamic visual culture, based on calligraphy, geometric ornamentation and the arabesque. The primacy of the written word, exemplified by early illuminated manuscripts of the Qur’an in Kufic script, will be seen in ceramics, stone capitals, textiles and inlaid metal work. Intricate geometric ornamentation decorates a 15th-century Spanish ceiling panel; a Mamluk rug made in Egypt; manuscripts and works on paper; and glass and metal vessels. Arabesque decoration, derived from scrolling vines and other vegetal motifs, will be seen on 17th-century Ottoman textiles, Iznik pottery and tiles from Persia and Central Asia. Finally, selections of Mughal paintings, illuminated manuscripts and ceramics made in north India and Iran in the 17th century, as well as examples of spectacular Mughal jewelry, will complete the display. The al-Sabah Collection is widely recognized as the greatest holding of Mughal jewelry in the world. The loans to Houston include an engraved emerald weighing more than 85 carats, a very important inscribed spinel (ruby), an emerald-anddiamond turban ornament, enamel vessels and jeweled jade court daggers. These jewels were previously seen in Houston in 2002 at the MFAH in the exhibition Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals (TOW), drawn exclusively from The al-Sabah Collection. The agreement was negotiated by the two directors with the assistance of Mahrukh Tarapor, senior advisor for international initiatives for the MFAH. The initial selection of objects was proposed by Giovanni Curatola, professor at the University of Udine and a consultant for the DAI, who will assist the MFAH with the presentation in Houston. The Museum will honor Sheikha Hussah al-Sabah at its Arts of the Islamic World Gala on January 25, 2013. “I am thrilled that the legendary al-Sabah Collection has decided to place masterworks from these extraordinary holdings on display in Houston,” said Tinterow. “With one stroke, we will be able to show our public the glorious achievement of Islamic visual culture in a comprehensive display, perhaps the finest between the East and West coasts of the United States. Houston is home to a large and diverse Muslim community, and I am very happy that the art and culture of the Islamic world will now take its rightful place in the Museum.” “In many ways, this new cooperation is a continuation of the relationships with a city that began decades ago, and with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston which began in 2002,” noted Sheikha Hussah al-Sabah. “It was a son of Houston, the Honorable George H.W. Bush, who spearheaded the UN coalition that liberated Kuwait from Iraq in 1991. It is the hospitality of Houston that encourages the Muslim community to be part of the city and share their culture, in part through this exhibition. And, of course, it was the exceptional experience we enjoyed while working with the museum on the Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals (TOW) exhibition that made the decision easy. Houston and Kuwait share much more than a common interest in oil production; there is also a common interest in learning from and about other cultures. We are proud that, together, the MFAH and the DAI will give all the people of Houston a new opportunity for sharing.”
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Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

BYZANTIUM AND THE WEST: JEWELRY IN THE FIRST MILLENIUM

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment
This is the Fall show for LES ENLUMINURES in Manhattan in NYC
 
23 Est 73rd Street, 7th floor
Outside my area of expertise, but these are some forty pieces of jewelry made of precious metals like gold,  and stones like emeralds, crystals and  garnets  that the Romans ostentatiously wore despite imperial decrees against it. The Byzantine leaders indulged in this even more so that we can enjoy these rings, bracelets, brooches, earrings and pendants from the third to the tenth centuries  today.
Cheers,
Elisabeth