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  Georgia O'Keeffe, Music - Pink and Blue No. I.Private collection. © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.

The Art of the Qur’an

Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

22 October 2016 - 20 February 2017
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | Washington, DC

Sponsored by:

Koç Holding

Organized by the Sackler Gallery in collaboration with the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul, this landmark exhibition will feature more than 60 of the most important Qur’an manuscripts ever produced in the Arab world, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.

Celebrated for their superb calligraphy and lavish illumination, these manuscripts span almost 1,000 years of history—from 8th-century Damascus, Syria, to 17th-century Istanbul. Many of the works, which will be on view outside of Turkey for the first time, are critical to the history and appreciation of the arts of the book.

The first major exhibition of Qur’ans in the U.S., The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts tells the individual stories of some of these extraordinary manuscripts, their makers and their owners. Visitors will learn how the Qur’an was transformed from an orally transmitted message to a written, illuminated and bound text produced by highly accomplished artists from the Islamic world.

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Qur’an, attributed to calligrapher Abd Allah al-Sayrafi. Probably Iraq, Il-Khanid period, first half of 14th century. Istanbul Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.

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