Met Reopens Islamic Art Galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has opened its galleries of Islamic art for the first time in several years, showcasing over 1,000 pieces from various regions in the world. NY1’s Shazia Khan filed the following report.
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Her assignment couldn't have come at a better time. College student Hannah Haarklou stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to research a paper on art in Islam and made her way to the newly reopened galleries of Islamic art.
“It's gorgeous. It has a lot of variety and there's a lot of artwork,” said Haarklou.
Known as the Islamic Wing when it first opened in 1975, the galleries closed for a major renovation at a pivotal time: just two years after 9/11.
Still, curator-in-charge Sheila Canby said the permanent exhibition is more relevant than ever.
“There's a whole ‘nother generation of people who are young adults now who are really, I think, very aware of what's happening in the world but want another way in to understanding these regions,” said Canby.
The collection, which is spread throughout 15 galleries, spans centuries and continents, giving visitors a broad look at the art and architecture of the Islamic world.
“From Spain and Morocco in the west all the way to Bangladesh in the east, from the seventh century to the end of the 19th century, we show pieces that were used in the context of the societies through that long historical sweep,” said Canby.
Museum-goers marveled at silk carpets, mosaic tiles and decorated glass lamps, just some of the more than 1,000 pieces on view.
“I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the pieces, the individual pieces. The attention to detail is just astounding,” said visitor Seth Welins.
There’s even a replica of a medieval Islamic court. More than a dozen Moroccan craftsmen worked onsite for six months to create the very intricate and intimate space.