Saturday, December 3, 2016

The making of one of the greatest Islamic art museums in the world

By Susanne Moore
Medallion (detail; first half of 14th century), Iraq or western Iran. David Collection, Copenhagen
COPENHAGEN---The David Collection in Copenhagen boasts one of the world’s most impressive holdings of Islamic art. Its director, Kjeld von Folsach, talks to Apollo about building the collection and why it has a role to play in contemporary culture. The roots of the Islamic collection, he is quick to point out, predate him. Emil Hannover (1864–1923), a former director of Copenhagen’s then museum of decorative arts – an institution which, since it changed its name to the Designmuseum Danmark, has tripled its visitor numbers – liked to apportion different responsibilities to individual private collectors in the hope that their holdings would end up in the museum. He persuaded Mr David to collect Islamic works of art which were not represented in any Danish museum. [link]

Portrait miniature of Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II of Bijapur (c. 1590), India, Deccan, Bijapur. David Collection, Copenhagen