Ancient manuscripts and intricate jewelry are just some of the treasures showcased at The Ismaili Centre in London, UK, in the Spirit and Life exhibition.
The historic artworks cover more than a millennium, providing fascinating insight into Muslim civilizations of long ago.
Benoir Junod, curator of The Aga Khan Museum, said, “We have 170 objects exhibited here which spread from the 8th century until the 19th century, that means roughly 1,000 years, and come from provenances as far apart in the Islamic world as China to the East and Spain to the West.”
The exhibition is part of the much wider Aga Khan Museum Collection. It’s a collection built up over the past 30 years by the Aga Khan Trust, part of a broader effort to preserve and promote the Islamic heritage.
Miniature paintings, ceramics, manuscripts, textiles, oil paintings and rare musical instruments are among the beautifully displayed treasures.
The showing offers an opportunity to create awareness of Muslim art, while at the same time, to showcase the universality of its themes.
Prof. Azim Nanji, director of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, said, “It has a fundamental role to play, I think, in educating people about cultural heritage of Islam. From London it will travel to Paris and to Lisbon and then eventually to Bonn so you know the whole of Europe really has an opportunity to see this, not just as something that comes from another part of the world but as something that’s been in conversation with the Muslim world for over 1000 years.”
The exhibition of work from the Aga Khan Museum moves to Toronto, Canada, in 2010. The Aga Khan Museum is dedicated to promoting education in Muslim arts and culture.
From Rare Book News.com
“Spirit and Life Exhibition will include miniatures from one of the finest illustrated manuscripts ever produced, the Persian epic masterpiece of Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), and an extremely rare copy of the Canon of Medicine of Ibn Sina also known as Avicenna, Persian physician, astronomer, logician, mathematician, philosopher, physicist, scientist, and theologian, whose book use in Europe and the Middle East as the standard medical textbook for over 500 years. ”
From Iconic Books Blog