Artwork from the Islamic world is as diverse and vibrant as the peoples who produced it. The objects presented in this gallery were created during the 8th through 19th centuries, a period of great cultural and geographic expansion. As a result, these works represent a vast area including Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. While these pieces originate within the Islamic world, they reflect the unique artistic and cultural traditions of disparate regions. Each object offers insight into the production and consumption of Islamic art within its respective cultural, geographic, and historical contexts.
Early works reveal the adoption and adaptation of motifs from antiquity, while later objects make clear the impact of exchange, trade, and cross-cultural interconnection. The variety of media speaks to the skill of the artisans who produced these objects, as well as the technological innovations that spread throughout the Islamic world at that time. Drawing on highlights of the museum’s collection, the gallery illuminates the broad range of Islamic art produced for both sacred and secular purposes.