The first years of the twenty-first century have witnessed an impressive re-evaluation of Islamic art and archaeology. However, while museums and galleries become increasingly important forums for public interest in Muslim cultures, there has been little discussion about content or categories of order and their new role in the light of modern Museology, museum pedagogy and new approaches in other fields of knowledge. This volume provides a historical and conceptual analysis of Islamic art and documents the successes and failings of its presentation in museums worldwide thus far. The contributors challenge existing notions regarding the research, methodology and analysis of Islamic art and investigate the extent to which socio-historical and anthropological approaches result in new analytical perspectives. They also examine the difficulties that need to be overcome when presenting Islamic art to avoid reducing the objects merely to the visual and aesthetic.
Museums covered in detail include the David Collection, Brooklyn Museum's Arts of the Islamic World Galleries, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the Hermitage Museum, the British Museum, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto and the Pergamon Museum.
About the editors: Benoit Junod is the Director of the Museums and Exhibitions Unit of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Stefan Weber is the Director of the Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Georges Khalil is one of the founders of 'Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe' research programme. Gerhard Wolf is the Director of he History of Art Unit at the Max- Planck Institute in Florence. Editor locations: Berlin, Germany; Florence, Italy and Toronto, Canada.
Contents Introduction: Islamic Art and the Museum Benoit Junod, Georges Khalil, Stefan Weber, Gerhard Wolf The Role of the Museum in the Study and Knowledge of Islamic Art Oleg Grabar A Concert of Things. Thoughts on Objects of Islamic Art in the Museum Context Stefan Weber Representations of Islamic Art The Concept of Islamic Art: Inherited Discourses and New Approaches Gulru Necipoolu Islamic Art at a Crossroads? Nasser Rabbat Intrinsic Goals and External Influence: On Some Factors Affecting Research and Presentation of Islamic Art Lorenz Korn The Study of Islamic Art at a Crossroads, and Humanity as a Whole Kirsten Scheid Preliminary Thoughts on an Entangled Presentation of "Islamic Art" Vera Beyer Context and Aesthetics Multivalent Paradigms of Interpretation and the Aura or Anima of the Object Avinoam Shalem The Stuff of History: Everyday Objects, the Construction of Ambiguous Meanings, and the "Afterlife" of Social Things Christian Sassmannshausen The Cultural Turn, the Spatial Turn, and the Writing of Middle Eastern History Gudrun Kramer The Power of Layers or the Layers of Power? The Social Life of Things as the Backbone of New Narratives Beshara Doumani A Historian's Task: Make Sure the Object Does Not Turn Against Itself in the Museum Munir Fakher Eldin Aesthetics Versus Context? Towards New Strategies for the Study of the Object Martina Muller-Wiener Islamic Art Versus Material Culture: Museum of Islamic Art or Museum of Islamic Culture? Julia Gonnella Foundation and Change Subthemes and Overpaint: Exhibiting Islamic Art in American Art Museums Mary McWilliams Early Islamic Art History in Germany and Concepts of Object and Exhibition Jens Kroger Islamic Art and the Invention of the "Masterpiece": Approaches in Early Twentieth-Century Scholarship Eva Troelenberg The Jameel Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London: Working from Vision to Reality Juliette Fritsch Do You Speak Islamic Art? The Museological Laboratory Susan Kamel, Christine Gerbich, Susanne Lanwerd Museums of Islamic Art and Public Engagement Seif El-Rashidi Museums and Their Formation Miriam Kuhn Examples from the Museum World Concepts Behind the New Installation of Islamic Art in the David Collection Kjeld von Folsach The Option of "Interim" Reinstallation: Brooklyn Museum's Arts of the Islamic World Galleries Ladan Akbarnia The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Oliver Watson Islamic Art in the Hermitage Museum: Projects and Plans Anton D. Pritula Islamic Art at the British Museum: Strategies and Perspectives Fahmida Suleman The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto Benoit Junod New Spaces for Old Treasures: Plans for the New Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum Stefan Weber "A Wooden Room with Many Doors - ": Social, Physical and Intellectual Accessibility at the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin Christine Gerbich Notes on Contributors Notes Sources Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Index