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ARTIC Unveils New Islamic Galleries

Tiles from the Art Institute of Chicago

Two tiles with continuous floral pattern, c. 1560. Turkey, Iznik. The Art Institute of Chicago. Mary Jane Gunsaulus Collection.

The Art Institute of Chicago (ARTIC) has unveiled its new galleries for Islamic art, meaning that the museum’s permanent collection is back on show for the first time since 2012. A number of star pieces will be on permanent display, complemented by rotating presentations of the museum’s Islamic paintings, calligraphy, textiles and carpets, as well as loans from public and private collections.

“I believe visitors will be astonished by the high quality and creative energy found in this assortment of objects from across the full span of the Islamic world, from Spain and Morocco to Central Asia and Indonesia,” said Daniel Walker, Christa C. Mayer Thurman Chair and Curator of the Department of Textiles and the Curator of Islamic Art.

The new galleries allow for enlightening themed groupings of works, as well as more traditional chronological and geographical displays. Special focus is given to art produced under the Mongols in Iran between the mid-13th and mid-14th centuries, a key part of the museum’s collection. A number of recent acquisitions will be on public view for the first time. This includes some exquisite examples of calligraphy, such as two pages from a Qur’an manuscript of the late 12th or 13th century with vivid coloured inks on pink paper.

Lamp from the Art Institute of Chicago

Lamp, 14th century. Egypt or Syria. The Art Institute of Chicago. Martin A. Ryerson Collection.

Ascent of the Prophet to Heaven, page from the copy of the Khamsa of Nizami from the Art Institute of Chicago

The Ascent of the Prophet to Heaven, page from the copy of the Khamsa of Nizami, c. 1600. Iran. The Art Institute of Chicago. Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection.

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