Featured Topic: Islam

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The Birth of Islam
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief introduction to the rise and spread of Islam and the formation of an Islamic artistic language. With images of 5 related artworks.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/isla/hd_isla.htm
Five Faiths Project
Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Combines original works of art, photographs, storytelling and community events to introduce information about the world religions of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. For art-related teaching, see the subtopic Art On-line for links to five works of art from each of the five religious traditions.

Go to Museum Resource: http://ackland.org/five-faiths-project/
Sacred Texts: Chinese Qur'an
The British Library
This Chinese Qur'an from the 17th century "shows how Islamic styles of calligraphy and illumination were combined with local styles, symbols, and aesthetics that came from a very different culture." Featuring excellent high-resolution images of one leaf from this manuscript, along with background information about the Qur'an and Islam in China.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/chinesequran.html
Islamic Art of the Deccan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"The "Deccan" (derived from Dakshina) is a geographical term that refers to the plateau in south central India still ruled by Hindu kings when the first Muslim sultanates of India were established in Delhi." This essay discusses the cultural and political developments in the Deccan region during the rule of the Bahmanids (1347-1528). With 11 images of related artwork and architecture.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/decc/hd_decc.htm
The Arts of Kashmir
Asia Society
"The Arts of Kashmir comprises works of Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic art, including sculpture, painting, and calligraphy loaned from collections in the U.S., Europe, and India. Many of the objects have never been seen outside of India; in some cases they have never been exhibited or published anywhere. To provide a sense of the broad artistic contributions of this famously lush and beautiful region, the exhibition includes examples of stone and bronze sculptures and manuscript paintings, in addition to the fine examples of papier-mâché, carpets, shawls, and embroidery for which Kashmir is renowned."

Go to Museum Resource: http://sites.asiasociety.org/arts/kashmir/
Islamic Art and Geometric Design: Activities for Learning
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An illustrated 46-page teacher's guide and activities book that can be downloaded in .pdf format. With an introduction to geometric design in Islamic art, a list of selected works from the Metropolitan Museum (with images and descriptions), a set of pattern-making activities, plus resources and a glossary.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/learn/for-educators/publications-for-educators/islamic...
Islamic Calligraphy in Practice and Writing the Word of God: Calligraphy and the Qur'an
Asia Society
"This exhibition Islamic Calligraphy in Practice and its companion exhibition, Writing the Word of God: Calligraphy and the Qur’an, explore Islamic art’s quintessential art form: calligraphy. In the Islamic world, the practice of calligraphy constitutes an expression of piety. The writing of Arabic script was considered an exemplary activity for men and women of all stations due to its association with the Qur’an. ... The varied works of calligraphy on display—from practice alphabets to elaborately finished manuscripts—serve as traces of individuals, belief systems, and cultures. The costly and exotic materials lavished on writing instruments also document the international trade of the period, from 1600 to 1900, and create a rich material legacy that fuses aesthetics and piety." Topics include: 1) Tools and Materials; 2) Training and Practice; 3) Contexts for Calligraphy; 4) Writing the Word of God.

Go to Museum Resource: http://sites.asiasociety.org/islamiccalligraphy/
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