Last October the British Museum opened a new gallery featuring Islamic art. On display are magnificent works of art mixed with everyday objects including musical instruments, games, ceramics and traditional dress. These pieces date from the 7th century to contemporary time, stretching from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
Art critic Jonathan Jones calls the gallery “a kind of miracle” and says this about the exhibition: “It sees beyond individual objects to grasp and communicate the principles and intellectual power that give Islamic art its infectious harmony and abundance. Yet it does that without oversimplifying. Within the continuity there are, it seems, inexhaustible details. The story of Islam is told chronologically down the centre of the L-shaped space with side cabinets that explore everything from the archaeology of lost cities to the distinctive footwear of the Ottoman empire. You can go into the biography of Timur – the conqueror known in the west as Tamburlaine – or the technology of glazed ceramics.”
The exhibit will be part of the museum’s permanent display.