Exhibition objects

Masterpieces of Islamic Calligraphy from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

June 2–September 1, 2009

Masterpieces of calligraphy from the Islamic Art Department's collections are on display for a period of three months, showcasing the calligraphic art of the Islamic world, from Spain to south Asia and beyond. The works, ranging in date from the eighth to the nineteenth century, include several richly illuminated Qur’anic manuscripts, as well as sumptuous album pages in a variety of scripts, examples of inlaid metalwork, fine ceramics, and rare textiles with calligraphic elements. Many calligraphic scripts—from early kufic to the later refined nasta‘liq—are shown in a range of media, demonstrating the impact and importance of this most quintessential of Islamic art forms.

Left: Bowl with Arabic Inscription, 10th century. Iran, Nishapur. Earthenware; white slip with black-slip decoration under a transparent glaze; H: 7 in. (17.8 cm), Diam: 18 in. (45.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1965 (65.106.2)

Read about calligraphy in Islamic art on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.