The Islamic world, spanning centuries and far-flung regions, is renowned for its diverse cultural and artistic traditions. This sumptuous book delves into that vast creative output, examining a dozen exquisite objects in the Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha, Qatar, designed by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei and opened in 2008. Twelve prominent scholars from across the globe select works representing various centers of Islamic life, from early Spain to 17th-century India, as well as a range of media including textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and miniature paintings. Authoritative texts put the objects into context, exploring the relationships to those people who produced and lived among them.
In addition, architectural critic Paul Goldberger discusses the museum, assessing its place in Pei's career and in the broader scope of Islamic architecture, while Oliver Watson, the museum's former director, sheds light on the installation of works throughout the building.
Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, wife and husband scholars, share the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University as well as the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College.