By Shamsul Bahrin Zainuzzaman on March 12, 2012
“Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic World”, a travelling exhibition of objects and art from the Aga Khan Museum collections, which has been touring renowned museums in key European cities, is now coming to the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. Currently running at the prestigious State Hermitage Museum, in St Petersburg, Russia, the exhibition at The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia will mark the first time that the collection will be displayed in Southeast Asia. It will run from 30th March to 29th June 2012.
The exhibition is divided into six sections: “Sacred Typographies”, which explores the sites and monuments of Islamic pilgrimage through paintings and drawings; “Religious and Funerary Architecture”, which examines mosques and commemorative shrines; “The Fortress and the City”, which encompasses forts and fortified towns; “The Palace”, which looks at the residences of royal families; “Gardens, Pavilions and Tents”, which discusses the arts of shelter; and “Architecture and the Written Word”, which focuses on architectural spaces contained in miniature painting.
Among the most notable artefacts on exhibit are: a miniature entitled “16th century folio from the most famous series of paintings in Muslim art, the celebrated Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp; architectural elements like muqarnas and ornamented wood pieces from 15th century Spain; glazed turquoise earthenware elements from late 14th century Central Asia; tiled arches from 15th century Egypt; ornamental doors from 9th century Iran and 16th century Iznik tiles from Turkey.Architecture is one of the most visible manifestations of Islamic art. It has flourished across the Islamic world for over 1,400 years. Majestic domes, peaceful courtyards and towering minarets not only punctuate the landscape with their grandeur, but also serve as a unifying element in Islamic art and heritage. In recognition of the importance of architecture to the artistic traditions of the Islamic world, The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is proud to host the travelling exhibition “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic World.” Accompanying the exhibition is an impressive catalogue that features essays by renowned scholars such as: Nasser Rabbat, David J. Roxburgh, Kishwar Rizvi, Renata Holod, Sussan Barbaie, James L. Wescoat, Jr. and Margaret S. Graves.