Content Tagged with Muslim Civilisations
Leading historian of Islamic art and culture, Professor Bernard O’Kane offers a peek at the architectural accomplishments of the Fatimids in Egypt. On 21 February, he will speak on the same topic at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
The large contemporary photographs that greet visitors at the entrance to Syria: A Living History, contrast sharply with the devastation wreaked by the country’s six-year civil war. Instead, the exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which spans 5 000 years, celebrates the land and people of Syria — and offers hope.
For the next 15 years, objects from one of the world’s largest private collections of Islamic art are on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art. An event introducing the first exhibition from the collection opened in September 2015 with a special performance by the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas.
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan delivered an Ismaili Centre International Lecture on 2 November 2015 at the Ismaili Centre, London. An on-stage discussion with journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown followed the lecture, together with questions from the audience.
An event hosted at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai by the Aga Khan Museum and the Embassy of Canada to the United Arab Emirates offered a preview of what will be the first museum in North America dedicated to the Islamic arts and cultures. Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak al-Nahyan applauded the Museum’s goal to showcase diversity of Muslim societies and foster greater understanding amongst peoples of different backgrounds.
Born in 965 CE, Ibn al-Haytham is considered by many to be the world’s first scientist. He also invented the camera obscura, the earliest avatar of the modern digital camera that you carry around in your pocket.
Three decades is a relatively short period in the history of a university, but the impact that the Aga Khan University has had in its formative years is not to be underestimated. And while the institution may be young, its spirit is far older.
Prominent religious historian and well-known author, Karen Armstrong, was the keynote speaker at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on 25 March 2012, where she delivered a lecture on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and the relevance of his life to our present time. The visit was part of Armstrong’s “12 Days of Compassion” tour of Greater Vancouver.
Dr Hussein Rashid delivered a lecture titled Everyday Art: An Islamic Impact on American Art on 13 February 2011 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In the talk, Dr Rashid highlights Islamic influences on popular art in America – from architecture and popular media to poetry and writing.
On 4 November 2010, Dr Francesca Leoni delivered a presentation to mark the millennial anniversary of Firdawsi’s Shahnama. The presentation took place at the University of Texas at Arlington, with support from its Office of the Provost, the University’s College of Liberal Arts, and the Ismaili Council for Northern Texas.
In the spring of 2010, Harvard University, for the first time in its history, offered a course on Ismaili History and Thought. Harvard student Shenila S. Khoja-Moolji spoke with Professor Ali Asani about his experience designing and teaching it.
The Aga Khan Museum Collection, which has been travelling across Europe since 2007, will ultimately find its permanent home in a new museum being established in Toronto. Reflecting the diversity and pluralism that characterises the Muslim world, the artwork and objects that comprise the Collection are helping to foster a greater appreciation of our collective human heritage and shared history.
This year marks the 1 000th anniversary of the completion of Shahnama, The Book of Kings by Abu´l-Qasim Firdawsi. Consisting of some 60 000 verses, it is considered one of the longest and most important epic poems ever written. To commemorate its millenary, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosted a lecture that was co-sponsored by the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern USA.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies recently launched A Companion to the Muslim World, the first book in a new series of publications on essential themes of Muslim heritage. Intelligently written, yet easy to read, the book aims to assist the non-specialist reader to better understand the Muslim world.
As part of a tour of several US centres, Alnoor Merchant from The Institute of Ismaili Studies spoke at the University of Texas in Arlington about the origins of historic artefacts in the Aga Khan Museum collection, and the role of patrons in the history of Islamic Art.
A major exhibition on the Safavid Emperor Shah Abbas I, whose rule of Persia spanned the 16th – 17th centuries is on at the British Museum in London. It provides a historical and cultural introduction to Persian culture and achievement, and situates it within the wider context of world events in the same period.
Alnoor Merchant from the IIS recently conducted a four-city lecture series on Muslim artistic, scientific, and architectural patronage. Captivating the audience with historic artefacts from the Aga Khan Museum collection, Merchant described the important role played by patrons in the history of Islamic art.
Currently touring Europe, rare masterpieces of Islamic art, from the Aga Khan Museum Collection are contributing to a wider understanding of Islam's rich artistic and cultural history. The Aga Khan Museum Collection has been appreciated by not only the Jamat but also members of the general public.