HOUSTON, March 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Sunday, March 5, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opens new, permanent galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds, nearly doubling previous display space for Islamic art. The galleries present for the first time the extent of MFAH holdings with an extensive selection of Iranian masterworks from the distinguished Hossein Afshar Collection, on long-term loan. Hundreds of paintings, manuscripts, ceramics, carpets, and metalwork span 1,000 years and the breadth of historic Islamic lands, including present-day Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Türkiye, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
The loans from the Afshar Collection are the second such partnership initiated by the museum; the first was the 2012 landmark agreement with The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, which has placed several hundred objects from that exceptional collection of art from Islamic lands on extended loan to the MFAH. The galleries’ opening culminates a major, longtime initiative at the MFAH to develop special exhibitions, new scholarship, signature acquisitions, and dynamic public programs in Islamic art. Said Aimée Froom, curator, Art of the Islamic Worlds at the MFAH, “Encompassing diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, and regional traditions, this new presentation conveys the extraordinarily vibrant contributions and legacies of Islamic civilizations.”
Across nearly 6,000 square feet, the Afshar Galleries highlight a trove of major, and in many cases rare, objects never before displayed in such depth. Highlighting the similarities and diversity of the art across cultures, communities, regions, and time, the presentation outlines fundamental aspects of Islamic art. An introductory gallery explores enduring themes within Islamic art across media. Iranian art from the Afshar Collection features exquisite 16th-century paintings from the pages of the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (Book of Kings), and monumental carpets. The arts of the book are showcased with both secular and sacred examples. A selection of blue-and-white stonepaste vessels reflects the Persian contribution to the world history of ceramics. In the final gallery, textiles, carpets, paintings, and garments provide a glimpse into the presence of these woven treasures in everyday life.
SOURCE Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-hossein-afshar-galleries-for-art-of-the-islamic-worlds-open-sunday-march-5-at-the-museum-of-fine-arts-houston-301761282.html
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