Islamic art

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Islamic Art and Geometric Design

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Islamic Art and Geometric Design

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Introduction and How to Use These Materials Introduction to Geometric Design in Islamic Art Selected Works of Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Pattern-Making Activities Resources and Glossary8 10 12 19 43

Copyright ©2004 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York This resource for educators is made possible by the Mary and James G. Wallach Foundation. Education, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Project Manager: Catherine Fukushima Senior Managing Editor: Merantine Hens Senior Publishing and Creative Manager: Masha TurchinskyIllustrations and design by Tomoko Nakano Color separations and printing by Union Hill Printing Co., Inc., Ridgefield, New Jersey All photographs of works in the Museum’s collection are by the Photograph Studio of The Metropolitan Museum of Art except for the following: nos. 14 and 20 by Schecter Lee; nos. 17 and 18 by Malcom Varon, N.Y.C. ISBN 1-58839-084-5 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) ISBN1-300-10343-3 (Yale University Press) Library of Congress Control Number: 2003110847

In 1976, Jane Norman—with help from Harry Bixler, Stef Stahl, and Margit Echols—wrote The Mathematics of Islamic Art, a groundbreaking Museum publication responding to the needs of math teachers eager to use the Museum’s resources in their classrooms. It became one of the Met’s most popular educationalpublications and has long since been out of print. This new iteration, Islamic Art and Geometric Design, which includes current scholarship on Islamic art as well as expanded activities developed in Museum workshops, remains indebted to Jane Norman’s work. We therefore dedicate this publication with gratitude, affection, and admiration to Jane, whose inceptive vision and passion for this project hasinspired all that has followed.

We are extremely grateful to the Mary and James G. Wallach Foundation, whose grant enabled us to publish Islamic Art and Geometric Design and make it available to the many math, humanities, and science teachers who have requested it for use in their classrooms. The creative vision and leadership of Jane Norman—an educator at the MetropolitanMuseum for twenty-five years—are behind the original version of this publication. Over the years, other educators at the Museum, including Evan Levy, Betty Rout, Alice Schwarz, and Lena Sawyer, refined and expanded upon the initial concepts. We are indebted to Stefano Carboni, curator, and Qamar Adamjee, research assistant, both of the Department of Islamic Art, who revised the “Introduction toGeometric Design in Islamic Art” and ensured that the information about the selected works in the Museum represents the latest scholarship. Educators Nicholas Ruocco and Deborah Howes offered insight and encouragement. Emily Roth and Naomi Niles refined the bibliography. Catherine Fukushima shepherded this project, together with Merantine Hens, who coordinated the many steps of editing. Philomena Marianiedited the manuscript and Tonia Payne provided meticulous proofreading. Sue Koch of the Design Department provided valuable guidance. Masha Turchinsky art directed and managed the various aspects of production, working closely with Tomoko Nakano, who created the effective illustrations and the handsome design. Kent Lydecker Associate Director for Education

Surface patterns on works ofart created in the Islamic world have been prized for centuries for their beauty, refinement, harmony, intricacy, and complexity. Fine examples of Islamic art, from the seventh to the nineteenth century, can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection. This publication features a selection of those objects in which geometric patterns predominate. By using these materials teachers will be...
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