Art Institute: New Galleries of Islamic Art
After the Jaharis Galleries of Greek and Roman art took its gallery space two years ago, the Islamic collection of the Art Institute has finally gone back on view.
It may be in a more remote location this time-- but it does have at least twice as much wall space - under the supervision of the former curator of the Islamic wing of the Metropolitan Museum, Daniel Walker.
Have you ever seen the Met's Islamic collection ? If not --book your plane tickets now!
Unfortunately, the Art Institute's collection is quite modest by comparison.
But we do have a few wonderful things that dynamic leadership can build on.
This spandrel with hunt scene has been in the collection for 90 years - but I don't remember seeing it.
These are two fabulous paintings - especially the Basawan/Shankar. There's not very many other paintings in the entire museum that are at this level.
But you can't see them!
They are set too far back in their cases -- and are dimly lit.
This book of calligraphy is wonderful, but also very difficult to see, since it is shoulder high but the pages face the ceiling. The above view was only possible by placing the camera on top of the case and shooting straight down.
By the way -- this book is on loan from a Cincinnati collector who lives about a mile from where I grew up.