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The Spirit Within

Ethan. Artwork showing "museum" written in Arabic, 2012. Marker on paper

Walking through the dimly lit halls of the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia inspires a true sense of wonder. "Where did this all come from?" one might ask. "This doesn't seem like the Islamic world I know today." In many ways, it isn't. Islamic civilization has undergone a plethora of changes throughout its existence. Islamic peoples have governed fruitful empires spanning thousands of miles. They created the Arabic language and Arabic numeral system and sang the praises of geometry and Greco-Roman literature during the Golden Age of Islam.

There's no medium too elusive for the body of work represented in the Islamic wing. While traditional painting and sculpture are not prevalent in the galleries, examples of work in these media are strong and unique. Additionally, these galleries are rife with ancient armors and weaponry, intricate ceramics, and luxurious tapestries glorifying the Islamic world, its innovations, and its religion.

There is a distinct aesthetic thread that runs throughout Islamic art. The galleries are not only stunning to look at but a reminder of the beauty of the Islamic world. The three of us think that these galleries provide a rich understanding of this culture and religion, but you ought to come and decide for yourself.

Come surround yourself with the arts of the Islamic world.

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