In recognition of the remarkable collections of the Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi (Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts) in Istanbul, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are collaborating with this prestigious institution to present some of its finest Qur’ans. The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts marks the first time that many of these beautiful artworks will be on display outside Turkey and is the first major exhibition devoted entirely to the Qur’an in the United States.
The Art of the Qur’an highlights more than sixty exceptional Qur’ans, dating from the Abbasid period in the eighth century to the rule of the Ottomans and the Safavids in the seventeenth century. Celebrated manuscripts from Seljuk Iran and Anatolia (twelfth century), the Mongol Il-Khanid and Timurid empires (fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), and Mamluk Egypt (fourteenth and fifteenth centuries) will be on display. A number of mosque furnishings, such as Qur’an boxes and stands, will also be included alongside works from the Freer and Sackler collections.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of public programs—including a symposium, a family day, public lectures, and a calligraphy and illumination workshop—will be held at the Freer and Sackler. The calendar of events will include docent-led tours and activities in ImaginAsia, the museums’ popular hands-on art educational program for young visitors. The exhibition will be documented on the Freer and Sackler website, where it will be maintained as a permanent archive of images and information.
The Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery together form the Smithsonian’s museum of Asian art. The Galleries share a long history of highly successful exhibitions and programs that feature the diverse cultures of Asia. The museums are open to visitors free of charge year-round.