Monday, November 21, 2016

Art Review: ‘The Art of the Qur’an,’ a rare peek at Islam’s holy text

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Holland Cotter
Visitors studying a folio from a large Quran dating to about 1400 in the exhibition “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures From the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts,” at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times
WASHINGTON, DC---“The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures From the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts,” at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery here, is the first major United States display of handwritten copies of Islam’s holy text. It’s a glorious show, utterly, and like nothing I’ve ever seen, with more than 60 burnished and gilded books and folios, some as small as smartphones, others the size of carpets. Flying carpets, I should say. This is art of a beauty that takes us straight to heaven. And it reminds us of how much we don’t know — but, given a chance like this, will love to learn — about a religion and a culture lived by, and treasured by, a quarter of the world’s population. [link]

Smithsonian Institute: "The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts," at the Sackler Gallery; (Ends February 20, 2017); 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC; (202) 633-1000; asia.si.edu
A binding of a Quran made from wood and leather dating to the ninth century. It was transferred from the Great Mosque in Damascus to Topkapi Palace in 1911, and to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in 1913. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times