Islamic art seems to be going through an international moment in the spotlight as major museums reinvigorate their collection holdings and exhibition programming of art from the Middle East. The historically conservative Louvre museum opened an entire new wing devoted to Islamic art in September of this year, though its non-traditional, non-chronological installation has been critiqued as a “visual blur and intellectual confusion” by the New York Times and a “failure to acknowlege the modern Muslim condition” by the New Statesman. The Metropolitan Museum likewise renovated its Islamic galleries in 2011 with a presentation that has been better received.
Perhaps the biggest gesture of support for the western museum-ification of Islamic art is the Aga Khan Museum opening in Toronto in 2013. Led by His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims since 1957, the museum will “will be dedicated to the acquisition, preservation and display of artefacts relating to the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious heritage of Islamic communities,” according to its website, as well as house the collections of the Aga Khan and his family. The 100,000-square-foot museum has been design by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and will include a multimedia center, reference library, and auditorium.
Tagged as: Dallas Museum of Art, Islamic art, Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art
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