Oxford's History of Science Museum reopens with exhibition of rare Islamic metalwork
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 14, 2024

Oxford's History of Science Museum reopens with exhibition of rare Islamic metalwork
Astrolabe with Lunar Mansions. Abd al-Karim, Syria, 1227–28 CE.

OXFORD.- Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld, a new exhibition at the History of Science Museum provides a modern day interpretation on Islamic metalwork spanning the 11th to 16th centuries, with an accompanying online exhibition and contributions by the local community. The exhibition opens on the day that the History of Science Museum reopens its doors to the public – Friday, 9 October 2020.

The exhibition will explore how the intersections of cultures across the Islamic world influenced the creation of this metalwork, some of the finest produced. Part of a national tour supported by Art Fund and in partnership with the Subject Specialist Network for Islamic Art and Material Culture, the exhibition features a stunning array of objects on loan from The Courtauld, many never seen outside of London before this tour. These include a delicate candlestick made to a precise size and weight, rare brass bowls inlaid with silver and a 14th century bucket for everyday use, all elaborately designed. They will be displayed alongside the History of Science Museum’s own world-class collection of scientific instruments from the Islamic World.

The exhibition will also examine the intricate designs and styles that made these metal pieces so renowned – and imitated – by civilisations around the globe. Signs of the zodiac, constellations, the planets and coats of arms all feature. Islamic metalwork is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and the skill behind this work will be showcased through on-screen content.

The highlight of the exhibition is a woman’s metal handbag, the only surviving example of its kind. It was made in the early 14th century in Mosul, northern Iraq for an important lady based in the courtly circles of the Ilkhanid dynasty. This handbag, known as the Courtauld Bag and decorated with images of eight musicians playing instruments, shows the incredible metalworking skills passed down through generations.

To ensure as many people as possible can experience the exhibition, the History of Science Museum has responded to the current climate by creating a full online exhibition that will also include objects and stories not seen in the physical exhibition. There will be modern ‘Cultures in Conversation’ as the online exhibition will include input from visitors and social media. Visit www.hsm.ox.ac.uk/islamicmetalwork (to go live on 9 October).

The museum has taken a unique approach to the online exhibition by working with Oxford-based volunteers with a cultural connection to these objects, who provided their own perspective based on their personal and cultural knowledge. The volunteers came to the UK as forced migrants from countries including Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Sudan. For the online exhibition they will be sharing their own objects that build on and complement the objects from The Courtauld and the History of Science Museum. Many of the volunteers have been working with the museum for some time as part of a project called Multaka, which means ‘meeting place’ in Arabic.

One volunteer, Jonathan Fruchter, has created an interactive digital programme through which online visitors can design their own Islamic inspired patterns. Jonathan said, “I was amazed by the intricacy of the patterns of some of the objects. I decided to digitize the pattern on the handbag, and was inspired to create a symmetric-pattern-generating computer programme. The programme is based on the "type" of symmetry most common in Islamic art, and allows the user to design their own Islamic-influenced repetitive patterns with just a few lines and brush strokes. Mathematics is usually perceived as intimidating and very dry. I think that this exhibition is a great opportunity to share a bit of my knowledge and show people that maths can be beautiful and fun!”

This approach provides a new way for visitors to understand and appreciate these objects. Moreover, the wealth of knowledge and understanding the volunteers bring has a lasting legacy: it is being added to the museums’ database and shared with the wider community through multi-lingual events, tours, blogs and displays, but most importantly the museum’s working practices have become more inclusive and collaborative.

Dr. Silke Ackermann, Director of the History of Science Museum, said: “Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld gives us insight into the craft and the science of Islamic metalworking. Our interpretation of the exhibition beautifully reveals how ideas and stories have travelled across time and territory, language and medium. Work to create this exhibition took place through the COVID-19 pandemic and we had to repeatedly pivot as we largely communicated through a new medium – online; it has certainly proved to be our most dynamic display yet. We are delighted by the contribution made by the Multaka volunteers and grateful for The Courtauld’s generosity and their partnership – this collaboration has been an absolute joy and we have learnt a huge amount in the process.”

Dr Alexandra Gerstein, McQueens, Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Courtauld said: “We are thrilled to partner with Oxford’s History of Science Museum on the Precious & Rare tour and to be the first exhibition on display when the museum reopens to the public. The exhibition provides an opportunity for people to experience and enjoy some of the most treasured art works from both The Courtauld and History of Science Museum’s collections and to find out more about their fascinating history.”

The Cultures in Conversation online exhibition will include all the objects and stories from the physical exhibition, with opportunities to explore additional content and get close-up with more information. There will be videos offering behind the scenes access with the Curator and Multaka volunteers.

Today's News

October 7, 2020

Cave raiders: Thai archaeologists hunt ancient artwork

Eddie Van Halen, virtuoso of the rock guitar, dies at 65

First fossil feather ever found belonged to this dinosaur

Tate Modern opens the most substantial survey of Bruce Nauman's work in London for more than 20 years

Sotheby's first live streamed Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Asia achieves US$88 million

The Vero Beach Museum of Art reopens

French MPs vote to return stolen artefacts to Benin, Senegal

Fergus McCaffrey announces the death of Noriyuki Haraguchi

Third major gift of Steichen photographs broadens Block Museum teaching collection

Exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Beverly Fishman on view at Miles McEnery Gallery

Damien Hirst remembers 'immortal' 90s with new show

Julius Caesar "assassination coin" may be worth millions

Newly discovered Degas offered at Bonhams New York prints sale

Oxford's History of Science Museum reopens with exhibition of rare Islamic metalwork

Mystery Pier Books to auction rarities with GWS Auctions

An international who's who of comics creations, from Tank Girl to Charlie Brown, realize $1.6 million

Nobel Literature Prize 2020: Controversy or crowdpleaser?

Exhibition examines the way dreams have been depicted in art from antiquity to the present day

Rare Picasso ceramics come to Heritage Auctions

New Worcester Art Museum exhibition focuses on local artist Susan Swinand

Cal State LA exhibition highlights renowned Los Angeles artist Betye Saar

The University of Chicago commissions Jenny Holzer to create new text-based public artwork

Almine Rech London opens a new exhibition by Ha Chong-Hyun

Records set in $1.6 million Heritage Luxury Accessories Auction

Finding the best accommodation for students in Birmingham

The Most Popular Art Schools in UK

How to Design the Perfect Casino Themed Man Cave

Why you should visit the Le Cadeaux art gallery?

Before Playing at Online Casinos: The Best and Worst Online Casino Game Odds

The Elements Of Art In Photography

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful