This expansive book reveals the great diversity and range of art of the Arab lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and later South Asia. Published to coincide with the historic reopening of the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum's Islamic Art Department, it presents nearly three hundred masterpieces from one of the finest collections in the world. The works range chronologically from the origins of Islam in the seventh century through the nineteenth century, and geographically from as far west as Spain and Morocco to as far east as India. Outstanding miniature paintings and illuminated manuscripts, ceramics, textiles, carpets, glass, and metalwork reflect the mutual influence of artistic practice in the sacred and secular realms. Many of these beautiful objects display the rich traditions of calligraphy, vegetal ornament (the arabesque), and geometric patterning that distinguish the arts of the Islamic world.
With seven informative essays and almost three hundred catalogue entries-supplemented by introductory essays on the collection and its display-this handsome and comprehensive overview will enlighten the specialist and the general reader alike.
Maryam D. Ekhtiar is Senior Research Associate in the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Priscilla P. Soucek is John L. Loeb Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Sheila R. Canby is the Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Navina Najat Haidar is Curator and Administrator in the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.