Art News & Views

Metropolitan Museum of Art Displays Islamic Art


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is displaying their collection of Islamic art at Gallery 458 from November 1, 2011 and the show continues till February 5, 2012. The Exhibition is titled The Making of a Collection: Islamic Art at the Metropolitan.

The museum comprises approximately twelve thousand objects, of whichin conjunction with the reopening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asiatwelve hundred are currently on view.

A visit to the new galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and the South Asia explores Metropolitan Museum's collection of Islamic art. Fifteen galleries grouped by geographic region trace the course of Islamic civilization from Spain in the West to India in the East. The collection explores the rich artistic traditions of the Islamic world and the distinct cultures within its fold.

From the last quarter of the 19th century to the early 1930s, objects from the Islamic world were introduced to the American market as exotic treasures and gradually gained public recognition. The interest in travel to the Middle East that had earlier spawned a vast travel literature in Europe caught on in America as well. It was the time of the Orientalist movement. At international expositions, governments of the Near East erected pavilions in which imported objects and parts of buildings where shown and, afterward, sold to Americans. Oriental art dealers played a critical role: as tastemakers for Islamic art, they acted as intermediaries between governments, American collectors, and museums.

Since then, the Metropolitan's collection has continued to grow and, as in the past, generous donors continue to support its acquisitions.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has one of the most wide-ranged and perhaps the largest, collections of Islamic art in the world. This may be because of the generosity of individuals who supported the Museum with gifts and bequests. This exhibition is a chronological study of some of the Museum's major donor-collectors, whose gifts form the core of the collection of the Department of Islamic Art.

Tags: art, antique

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