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The Structure of This Guide

This resource is designed to help you incorporate works of art from the Islamic world into your teaching in the classroom or at the Museum. The thematic units in this guide each support one or more of the following subject areas: world history, visual arts, English language arts, geometry, or science. Each unit includes an introduction, featured works of art with detailed information, and a lesson plan aligned with the National Standards and Common Core State Standards (see Curriculum Connections charts). Some units have been divided into chapters that address different aspects of the unit theme. An overview of recurring themes and modes of expression in Islamic art will help you and your students make links among the units. Depending on your goals and available time, you might draw upon the contents of an entire unit or focus on a single work of art.

In addition, maps and a chronology provide useful geographic and chronological context, and the Quick List of Featured Works of Art (Images) offers an easy overview of the focus objects. Also included is a list of general resources about the art of the Islamic world (units and chapters contain resources related to specific topics), and a glossary of key terms (each of these is underlined at first mention in each unit/chapter).

Dating and Transliteration Conventions Used in This Guide

This publication utilizes certain standardized dating conventions and spellings. All dates are given according to the Christian (or Gregorian) calendar (A.D.). In a case where we can ascribe an object with a precise date through an inscription or other material evidence, we offer both the Islamic calendar date (al hijri, abbreviated A.H.) and the Christian calendar date (for example, calligraphic galleon, dated A.H. 1180/A.D. 1766–67). Arabic, Persian, and some Turkish words are transliterated using a simplified version of the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies system. In certain instances, the authors of the sources we quote use a different transliteration system. This accounts for the occasional variation in spelling of the same foreign words or names (for example, Shahnama and Shahnameh or Tahmuras and Tahmures). Certain transliterations are based on the phonetic conventions of individual languages. For example, the name Sulaiman is used in an Arabic or Persian context, but Süleyman in a Turkish one. When an Arabic, Persian, or Turkish word is not found in Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, we italicize it; if it is found in the dictionary we use the standard English spelling (thus Qur'an is not italicized, while mihrab is).

Related Resource

• Dazzling Details: Zoom in for a Close Look at Art from the Islamic World!
This family guide presents several ideas for engaging children ages seven through twelve in the Museum's galleries.

School Groups

Bring your students to the Museum! Request a guided (grades 1–12) or self-guided (pre-K–grade 12) school visit.