Iran Modern is the first major museum exhibition mounted with loans from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East to focus on Iran’s dynamic modern art scene. The exhibition spans the three decades prior to the 1979 Revolution, a period of great economic, political, and societal change in the country. By the mid-1970s Tehran, its capital city, had become an important cosmopolitan destination. Artists found new patronage especially from the government for exhibitions and festivals, such as the annual Shiraz Arts Festival, and the creation of new museums such as the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, which was actively acquiring both Iranian and international art for its collection.
The exhibition is organized thematically across two floors to highlight the broad range of styles developed during this productive period. It is not a comprehensive overview but instead the works in the exhibition serve as key examples of the pluralism and innovative spirit of the time. The exhibition begins on the second floor by introducing artists associated with the Saqqakhaneh movement, the first culturally specific modernist group of note whose works were influenced as much by Shi'ite folk art, as by pre-Islamic art and international formal strategies. The exhibition also includes sections focusing on Abstraction, Calligraphy, and Politics. Within each section, monographic highlights will allow select artists’ work to be seen in greater depth. On the third floor a timeline and a selection of ephemera from the period provide greater context for the works on view.
Through the presentation of over one hundred works by 26 artists, the exhibition chronicles the conversation between tradition and modernity and puts forward the idea of modernism as a globally interconnected phenomenon. Iran Modern illuminates an overlooked time of artistic creation that continues to resonate with contemporary artists working both inside and outside Iran.
The guest co-curators of this exhibition are Fereshteh Daftari and Layla S. Diba.
Asia Society, New York
Through January 5, 2014
Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800
Beginning in the sixteenth century, the golden age of European exploration in search of spice routes to the east brought about the flowering of an abundant textile trade. Textiles often acted as direct currency for spices, as well as other luxury goods. Textiles and textile designs made their way throughout the globe, from India and Asia to Europe, between India and Asia and Southeast Asia, from Europe to the east, and eventually west to the American colonies. Trade textiles blended the traditional designs, skills, and tastes of all of the cultures that produced them, resulting in objects that are both beautiful and historically fascinating. The exhibition will include works from across the Museum's collection?augmented by a few international loans?in order to make worldwide visual connections, and will highlight an important design story that has never been told from a truly global perspective.
September 16, 2013-January 5, 2014
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait
Islamic masterworks from Kuwait?s renowned al-Sabah Collection come to the MFAH as part of a long-term collaboration with the cultural institution Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI). The privately held al-Sabah Collection is one of the greatest collections of Islamic art in the world, and the partnership initiates a historic exchange of objects, staff, and expertise.
Among the highlights showcased in this display are spectacular Mughal jewelry, illuminated manuscripts, exquisite ceramics, and intricately decorated ceiling panels. More than 60 examples from the 8th to 18th centuries are on view, made in the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The collection also includes carpets, glass and metalwork, paintings, architectural fragments, scientific instruments, and works on paper.
through Jan 26, 2014
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Between Princely India and the British Raj: The Photography of Raja Deen Dayal
Between Princely India and the British Raj is the first major North American exhibition on path breaking and prolific lensman Raja Deen Dayal (1844-1905), whose meticulous work captured a historical moment of great transition in what is present-day India. The exhibit brings together over 100 works of art, culled from three major collections in North America and India, including the ROM*s collection of large, leather-bound photo albums produced by the firm Raja Deen Dayal & Sons. Over the course of Dayal*s remarkable career, he ran three successful studios, had over fifty staff photographers and assistants, and produced more than 30,000 images. The works on view here were produced at the intersection of princely states, the British Raj, and an emerging international cosmopolitanism. Together, they demonstrate the unique trajectory of photography in India as well as its inseparability from a larger world history of photography. Curated by Deepali Dewan and Deborah Hutton.
Royal Ontario Museum ,Toronto
Through January 12, 2014
Longing for Mecca - The Pilgrim's Journey
This autumn, a unique exhibition about the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, opens at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. Magnificent objects, personal stories and in-depth reports will present a comprehensive picture of this impressive pilgrimage, in which millions of people from all over the world take part each
year. The exhibition is a collaboration with the British Museum in London. This will be the first ever exhibition of this magnitude about the Hajj to be held
in the Netherlands.
Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden (Netherlands)
From September 10, 2013
Egyptian Film Poster Designers and the Print Shops of Hassan Mazhar Gassour & Sayed Ali Ibrahim al-Nasr
Historical studies of the "golden age" of the Egyptian film industry, from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, have paid little attention to the colorful posters that advertised those films and the people who designed them. This exhibition highlights the artistic style, variation, and evolution of the artwork created by what became, by 1960, the most prominent film poster printing houses in Cairo. The dozens of posters and lobby cards on display, produced from the 1940s through the 1990s, are drawn from Princeton's extensive Arabic Movie Posters and Lobby Cards Collection, acquired in Lebanon in 2008.
Main Gallery, Firestone Library
September 21, 2013 - February 02, 2014
Echoes: Islamic Art and Contemporary Artists
Echoes juxtaposes historical objects and architecture from the Nelson-Atkins collections with works by contemporary artists that employ traditional Islamic styles, materials and subject matter as their source. Framed beneath the Museum's stunning 17th century Persian mosaic arch, visitors will see how contemporary artists are drawing upon their cultural and visual past to explore personal, political, and aesthetic concerns.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
August 31, 2013 – April 27, 2014
V&A DISPLAY: SILVER FROM THE MALAY WORLD
The V&A is staging a small display to explore the rich traditions of Malay silver by focusing on a selection of notable pieces acquired by Richard James Wilkinson, Richard
Olaf Winstedt and Cecil Wray, who served as colonial administrators in
Malaysia and Singapore at the turn of the 20th century. This display is noteworthy as the V&A’s first presentation of Islamic design from South-East Asia. The silver on display includes ceremonial regalia, dining vessels, equipment for betel chewing and clothing accessories. Some elaborate pieces were for rituals that mark rites of passage such as birth and marriage. Some bear inscriptions identifying their former royal
ownership. It also shows the V&A's first ever acquisition of Malay metalwork: electrotype copies of the Perak royal regalia commissioned by the Museum in 1887.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
From 15 July 2013 - 16 March 2014
In Focus: Ara Güler's Anatolia
Ara Güler, the “Eye of Istanbul,” is famous for his iconic snapshots of the city in the 1950s and '60s. But with an archive of more than 800,000 photographs, Güler's body of work contains far more than these emblematic images. In December 2013, the Freer and Sackler Galleries will open an exhibition of never-before-shown works by the legendary photographer. Curated by Johns Hopkins University students in partnership with the museums, the installation will examine Güler's definition of himself as a photojournalist through the presentation of his photographs.
Featured are photographs of medieval Seljuk and Armenian buildings that Güler took in 1965. The exhibition therefore brings images of important Anatolian monuments to an American audience, highlighting Turkey's cultural history. Beyond appreciating their subject matter, the display asks visitors to think critically about the way images were created. The exhibition guides viewers into a critical debate about photography: documentation versus art.
December 14, 2013–May 4, 2014
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC
View from Inside: Contemporary Arab Video, Photography and Mixed Media Art
This Biennial will bring together 50 leading contemporary artists from 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa in four newly created exhibitions, entitled View from Inside. These exhibitions will prominently feature contemporary video, photography, and mixed media art. Six weeks of related forums, roundtables, films, poetry readings, and tours will take place, among other events. Additionally, over 100 venues in the Houston area are participating as exhibition spaces, making this a truly city-wide event.
March 15-April 27, Houston, TX
Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings
The creative vitality of the continually evolving uprisings commonly referred to as the Arab Spring is captured in this immersive multimedia exhibition. Freedom of speech merges with artistic expression to capture the anger, elation, frustration and hope of these revolutions through call-and-response chants, graffiti, video, blog postings, cartoons, music, photography, posters and even puppetry. This exhibition was guest curated by Associate Professor of Islamic Art Christiane Gruber of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and Nama Khalil, an artist and anthropology PhD student at UM. It is a companion to the 2013 Freer Symposium Arts of the Arab World Uprisings in Ann Arbor Nov. 14-15, 2013
November 8 – February 9, 2014
Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI
Robertson, Photographer and Engraver in the Ottoman Capital
Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) is hosting an exhibition commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birthday of James Robertson, a leading nineteenth-century photographer. Titled “Robertson, Photographer and Engraver in the Ottoman Capital” the exhibition features Robertson’s original photographs and watercolor paintings from the Ömer M. Koç Collection, curated by Bahattin Öztuncay.
Through February 2, 2014
Koc University, Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC), Beyoglu, Istanbul
Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space
Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space explores the creation and maintenance of borders, both physical as well as psychological, through the works of artists primarily from South Asia. These artists focus on the idea of partition as a productive space–where nations are made through forging new identities and relationships; reconfiguring memory and creative forgetting; re-writing history and the making of myths; and through the creation and patrolling of borders. Developed by the nonprofit arts organization Green Cardamom, Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space originated in London in 2009 as an exhibition focused on South Asian artists and the division of India in 1947. The project later expanded to a larger exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, incorporating works by artists from countries such as Mexico, Lebanon, and Ireland. This exhibition is co-curated by Hammad Nasar (curator and co-founder of Green Cardamom) and Iftikhar Dadi (Associate Professor of Art History and Department Chair Art at Cornell University).
Through February 2, 2014
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC
Yoga: The Art of Transformation
Yoga is a global phenomenon practiced by millions of people seeking spiritual insight and better health. Few, however, are aware of yoga's dynamic history. Opening this fall at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is Yoga: The Art of Transformation, the world's first exhibition of yogic art. Temple sculptures, devotional icons, vibrant manuscripts, and court paintings created in India over 2,000 years—as well as early modern photographs, books, and films—reveal yoga's mysteries and illuminate its profound meanings.
The exhibition borrows from twenty-five museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the United States. Highlights include an installation that reunites for the first time three monumental stone yogini goddesses from a tenth-century Chola temple; ten folios from the first illustrated compilation of asanas (yogic postures), made for a Mughal emperor in 1602, which have never before been exhibited together; and Thomas Edison's Hindoo Fakir (1906), the first movie ever produced about India.
Through masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting, Yoga: The Art of Transformation explores yoga's rich diversity and historical transformations, including its philosophies, transformational goals, and importance within multiple religions. The exhibition also examines the varied roles that yogis and yoginis played in society, from sages to spies.
Through January 26, 2014
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/yoga.asp
Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art
Doris Duke (1912 –1993), known for her wealth and philanthropy, surprisingly amassed one of the nation’s largest private collections of Islamic art. Perhaps equally surprising is the environment Doris created to house her remarkable collections: Shangri La, a five-acre estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Begun in the mid-1930s and developed over the course of more than 50 years, Shangri La seamlessly melds modern architecture, tropical landscape and art from throughout the Islamic world. Representing an approach that may be termed “inventive synthesis,” Shangri La mixes original and commissioned architectural elements. Shangri La’s collections are equally diverse and encompass a broad time spectrum, from the pre-Islamic and Medieval periods through the mid-20th century, as well as myriad media, styles and techniques developed within the realm of Islamic art.
Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art at the Nasher Museum marks the first time works from Doris Duke’s Islamic art collection have traveled to North Carolina.
Through December 31, 2013
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC