Posted: Monday, April 20, 2015
RumiNations, the new blog of the Department of Islamic Art, is starting at a very auspicious moment. Today, April 20, the special exhibition Sultans of Deccan India, 1500–1700: Opulence and Fantasy will open. The brainchild of Curator Navina Haidar, this exhibition has been many years in the making—long enough to have involved former Research Associate Marika Sardar, now curator of Asian Art at the San Diego Museum of Art, and Courtney Stewart, presently a senior research assistant here at the Met. This exhibition comes three and a half years after the reopening of the department's permanent galleries, fifteen rooms (450–464) devoted to the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia. While the galleries continue to attract large numbers of visitors, the Department of Islamic Art and the Education Department have collaborated on a range of special activities in the midst of the collection, from musical concerts in the Moroccan Court to drop-in drawing sessions in the Later Iran gallery.
Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012
A Metropolitan Museum patron interested in Islamic art in the 1880s would have found little of relevance on display.1 By 1910, however, the situation was very much improved, and in the century since then, the Islamic art displays at the Museum have become the largest in the Western world. This essay briefly describes the evolution of the display of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum—from the first largely visual exhibitions to the present scholarly organization by style, material, and civilization.
Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights.