The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that it will house a new exhibit, Carpets of the East in Paintings from the West, featuring 17th-century Islamic carpets alongside depictions in Dutch paintings from March 11 – June 29 at The Hagop Kevorkian Fund Special Exhibitions Gallery, Gallery 458. As early as the 14th century, images of carpets woven in the East-primarily in the areas constituting present-day Turkey and Iran-began to appear in European paintings.
A special exhibit that was featured five years ago at the Ontario Science Centre has returned with new features, more interactive displays, and plenty to do for all ages. Sultans of Science: 1,000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered opened Friday, March 7, and will run until June 7, 2014 for visitors to learn about the important scientific and technological discoveries made by scholars during the Golden Age of Islamic Science.
Nur Shkembi doesn’t like to use the words “east” and “west”, and yet in many ways, her work as art director of the newly opened Islamic Museum of Australia occupies the boundary between the two. Even from the outside, the hybrid identity of the building is clear: nestled in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and backing onto Merri Creek, the museum is wrapped in rusted steel that has been laser-cut with images from Australian and Arabic history.
A spectrum of special exhibitions, cultural events and academic symposia will put the spotlight on Arab artists and the Arab world at the 15th edition of the FotoFest Biennial, to be held in Houston, Texas, from March 15th to April 27th 2014. FotoFest is the oldest photographic arts festival in the United States, and one of the leading photography biennials in the world. Art lovers can look forward to more than 100 independently organised art exhibitions and events at various museums, art spaces, universities and public spaces across Houston at FotoFest 2014 Biennial. But the centrepiece of the event is View from Inside, which comprises four exhibitions showcasing video, photography and mixed-media art by contemporary Arab artists from the Middle East and North Africa.
Read More: An Insider’s View of the Arab World
Pro Art Gallery, the gallery that celebrates innovative and cutting edge art in the Middle East, will host a new exhibition titled Spirituality in Motion, which will showcase artworks by renowned contemporary Iranian artist Hossein Irandoust. The exhibition will run from March 12th to March 20th at the Pro Art Gallery.
Part of a “treasure trove” of rare Indian paintings, commissioned by two Inverness brothers in Delhi in the early 19th century, are expected to fetch close to £100,000 when they go under the hammer at a leading London auction house next month. Bonhams today announced they are sell three stunning images from The Fraser Album, discovered amongst the papers of a Scottish family in 1979, at its next auction of Indian and Islamic art on 8th April 2014.
The Peabody Essex Museum announces the appointment of Sona Datta, Ph.D., as its new curator of Indian and South Asian Art. Datta comes to PEM from the British Museum, London, where during her eight-year tenure as art historian and curator, she specialized in the visual culture of South Asia. At PEM, Datta will play a pivotal role in shaping the museum’s program in South Asian art primarily through innovative exhibitions, interpretation and programming as well as strategic collection enhancement and research.
Hrach Arslanyan is an artist and instructor of Armenian descent who is engaged in reviving murassa, a traditional Ottoman art that was forgotten for almost five centuries. Murassa is an art which involves the decoration of metal objects with precious stones. Arslanyan focuses on the work which goldsmiths used to produce for palaces in the Ottoman era, and is attracting an increasing level of interest in his projects. Hraç Arslanyan relates that he was mischievous as a child, but was sent by his parents as an apprentice to master craftsman Hagop Usta in the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul, and ended up teaching murassa himself.
The work of Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat, whose photographs, films and video installations deal with gender, politics and religion in the Islamic world, has been heralded by art critics and collected by major museums. Although Neshat has lived in the United States since the 1970s, her work has most often been focused on the lives of women in Iran, and more recently with the aftermath of the Arab Spring in Egypt.
Tobacco heiress Doris Duke, who died in 1993, built a fantasy compound in Honolulu to showcase an exquisite collection of Islamic art she’d acquired in her many travels. You can get an exhilarating peek into this elegant, rarefied life by visiting Doris Duke’s Shangri-La: Architecture, Landscape and Islamic Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art through May 4th, 2014.
To celebrate the end of Medina’s year as Islamic Capital of Culture in 2013, the British Museum has helped organise an exhibition in the Saudi Arabian city that opened earlier this month. Since non-Muslims are not allowed to visit Medina, the show is held at the Meridian Hotel Complex, outside the forbidden zone. Words and Illuminations (until 9 May), is divided broadly into two parts, one showing contemporary Arabic calligraphy and the other historic photography.
With the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture criticising the Ministry of Culture for failing to renovate the iconic monument where the Prime Minister unfurls the National Tricolour on Independence Day, the Archaeological Survey of India has decided to make efforts to renovate the Red Fort in such a manner that the earlier grandeur of the Mughal-era is revived.
Read More: Government to Restore Red Fort’s Grandeur
Arab Visual Art, the exhibition now up at Gemmayzeh’s 392Rmeil393 Gallery, is comprised of 20-odd word-based, Plexiglas works, whose shapes matter as much as the meaning of the words themselves. “Each work is a poem,” artist Rola Haidar told The Daily Star. “It has a meaning and a philosophy.” Haidar’s work is indebted to classical Arabic calligraphy, obviously, but also European linguistics.
Read More: Arabic Calligraphy Meets Semiotics
Over the years it’s been identified as an oriental box, a work basket, a document wallet and even a saddle bag. Now London’s Courtauld Gallery confidently believes one of its most prized possessions is really a 700-year-old handbag – probably the oldest in existence.
An exhibition entitled – India: Jewels that Enchanted the World, will celebrate the history and grandeur of India’s craft in jewellery making. This exhibit is a joint effort between The State Museums of Moscow Kremlin and the Indo-Russian Jewellery Foundation, founded by diamond and jewellery connoisseur Alex Popov. It is being organised at the State Museums of Moscow Kremlin from 12 April to 27 July 2014.
Delhi’s glorious heritage is fast getting eroded because of rampant despoliation, encroachment, urbanisation and neglect. Nawab Dojana’s haveli, known as Dojana House in Matia Mahal is now a flatted building which is already showing signs of deterioration. Haveli Sadr Sadur, bang opposite it, has been so encroached upon and rebuilt in parts that it is hard to recognise it. The haveli of Nawab Buddan, said to be a great fashion trendsetter, could not be traced perhaps because of alterations. The old hamam in the same street, which had become a shop, is also not easily recognisable. The building behind Jama Masjid associated with Dara Shikoh has become a school.
Read More: Vanishing Slab by Slab
Around 1600, a dramatic shift took place in Mughal art. The Mughal emperors of India were the most powerful monarchs of their day — at the beginning of the seventeenth century, they ruled over a hundred million subjects, five times the number administered by their only rivals, the Ottomans. Much of the painting that took place in the ateliers of the first Mughal emperors was effectively dynastic propaganda, and gloried in the Mughals’ pomp and prestige. Illustrated copies were produced of the diaries of Babur, the conqueror who first brought the Muslim dynasty of the Mughal emperors to India in 1526, as well as exquisite paintings illustrating every significant episode in the biography of his grandson, Akbar.
Read More: Under the Spell of Yoga
Roving street photographers and studio portraitists in Afghanistan have been using the big, box-shaped wooden camera known as the kamra-e-faoree since the early 1950s. Their trade has survived the Soviet invasion of 1979, the civil war that followed it, Taliban rule in the 1990s and the invasion by America and the allies in 2001. Now, though, the rise of digital technology in Afghanistan is doing what wars, invasions and fundamentalist tyranny have failed to do – the age of the kamra-e-faoree is almost over.
Read More: Afghan Box Cameras
After a long political freeze between Iran and the UK, a cultural entente is quietly under way in London with the launch of Recalling the Future: Post-revolutionary Iranian Art, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Four curators including Hamed Yousefi, an Iranian culture critic, and David Hodge, a London-based art historian, have presented trends, ideas and techniques shaping the Iranian art scene today through the works of 29 established, emerging and late artists.
Read More: Post-revolutionary Iranian Art at the SOAS
In many countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, walls and buildings became the canvas for street art during the Arab Spring uprisings that began in 2011 and gave protestors a platform. A collection of protest artwork is just one part of the exhibit called Creative Dissent at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The exhibit also explores how digital technology has changed the way some expressions of protest are created and disseminated.
Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) plans to build a SR100 million center for artists and art lovers in Jeddah. An international architectural firm is currently designing the “Beyt Jameel” or “Art Jameel” project over 7,000 square meters, which would feature an exhibition space specifically for the work of artists who entered the Jameel Prize, an Islamic arts contest, and local and international exhibitions.
Last week, the Dallas Museum of Art announced that over the next year it will be taking delivery of containers filled with richly colored carpets and delicate textiles, gleaming lusterware and carved rock-crystal, finely wrought metalwork and folios from illustrated manuscripts, intricately decorated book bindings and splendid calligraphy. The almost 2,000 pieces, created from the eighth through 19th centuries from across the Muslim world, will begin arriving in May from London, where Edmund de Unger (1918-2011) collected and lived with them, treasuring them for their beauty and the knowledge they embodied.
Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran, an exhibition of 58 works of photography and video installations by 20 of Iran’s most celebrated photographers, will be on view at DePauw University’s Richard E. Peeler Art Center beginning February 10th, 2014. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will continue through May 8th. It gathers personal perspectives of contemporary Iran filtered through individual sensibilities, which simultaneously addressing public concerns.
Born in Baghdad to Iraqi parents, British architect Zaha Hadid left Iraq for the American University of Beirut at the age of 17. She subsequently trained as an architect in London, which later became her home. Despite a decorated career in her field since opening her own practice in 1980, she initially had to wait six years to see one of her designs make the transition from the drawing board to the physical world. Today, she had designed buildings around the world, in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas, winning a slew of awards, including the Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious in modern architecture, in 2004.
Read More: Zaha Hadid: I’m Possessed by Curiosity
See also: Zaha Hadid and the 21st-century Museum
After ten years as the premiere online resource for the study of material and visual culture in Islamic societies, Archnet has been re-imagined and restructured. The new Archnet — a collaboration between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries — is a portal to rich and unique scholarly resources featuring thousands of sites, publications, images, and more focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world.
Read More: Archnet.org
Go to: http://www.archnet.org/