After years of renovation, the Islamic galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art reopened in 2011 with fifteen new galleries, and performance and lecture space. This summer Met curator Navina Haidar opened a critically acclaimed exhibit on the Muslim kingdoms of India’s Deccan plateau featuring decorative objects and miniature paintings, so filled with miniscule details that it requires a magnifying glass to view.
In this NPR clip, Sheila Canby, Curator of the Met’s Department of Islamic Art, says that “museums serve as a place where people can come to this idea of Islam through the material culture, not just through what they’re being told all the time.”
The segment also debates “what exactly constitutes Islamic art? Is it a religious definition, an ethnic category or a political statement?”
This is the first in an ongoing NPR series entitled “Muslim Artists, Now.”