The first major exhibition of Qurans in the U.S., “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts” opened at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22 2016. If you are planning a trip to Washington DC over the next few months be sure to visit as the exhibition runs thru Feb. 20, 2017.
The exhibition has been organized by the Sackler and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art in collaboration with the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul. It features more than 60 Qur’ans, among the most important ever produced from the Arab world, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, including works from the permanent collection of the Freer and Sackler galleries plus a number of long-term loans.
Celebrated for their superb calligraphy and lavish illumination, the manuscripts span almost 1,000 years of history—from eighth-century Damascus, Syria, to 17th-century Istanbul.
This landmark exhibition 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 into a fixed text, transcribed and illuminated by some of the most skilled artists of the Islamic world and treasured and disseminated by sultans and viziers over centuries.
Koç Holding is the exhibition’s principal sponsor, with additional support provided by Turkish Airlines, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, and Aydin Doğan Foundation. The exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey.