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Author: Victoria and Albert Museum

http://www.wam.ac.uk

The Victoria and Albert Museum's collections span two thousand years of art in virtually every medium, from many parts of the world, and visitors to the museum encounter a treasure house of amazing and beautiful objects. The story of the V&A's foundation helps to explain its astonishing richness and diversity. The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections. The V&A holds over 19,000 items from the Middle East and North Africa, ranging from the early Islamic period (the 7th century) to the early 20th century. The collections include holdings of metalwork, ceramics, architectural woodwork and textiles, in particular from Iran, and also from Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Syria and the countries of North Africa.

Posts by Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum
Tile with Arabic inscription, Iran, about 1215. Museum no. 1481-1876

Calligraphy in Islamic art – beyond pen and paper

The development of sophisticated calligraphy as an art form is not unique to Islamic culture. Other examples include Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and illuminated bibles from north-west Europe including the famous Book of…

Islamic Art Reading List

Below is a selection of recommended titles covering a range of more general reading about Islamic art. Akurgal, Ekrem (ed.), The Art and Architecture of Turkey, Oxford, 1980. ISBN. 0192114514 Allen, Terry, Five Essays on…

Owen Jones and Jules Goury, arched window from the volume Plans, elevations, sections & details of The Alhambra, published 1837.

Illustrations of Islamic Architecture

The Alhambra Granada, Spain Built chiefly in the 13th and 14th centuries The Alhambra (from the Arabic, Al Hamra, meaning The Red) is an ancient mosque, palace and fortress complex built by the…

Design of the Ardabil Carpet (1539-1540)

The entire surface of the Ardabil carpet is covered by a single integrated design – an impressive feat in view of the great size of the carpet. The basic design is relatively simple,…

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