The Met Says 'Open Sesame'
Kaylan, Melik, Newsweek International
Byline: Melik Kaylan
In New York, the glories of Islamic art are laid before the world.
A gorgeous salad-bowl-size ceramic dazzles the eye upon entry. The bowl suggests a highly refined and thoughtful curatorial choice as the first display in the reopened Islamic wing in New York's Metropolitan Museum, as intentional as the galleries' wordy new handle: "The Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia." Creamy-hued with wispy dark calligraphy beneath the rim, the 10th-century object neatly embodies the virtues of early Islamic culture: aesthetic purity, affluence with austerity, and a fierce commitment to simplicity. Rippling outward, Islam reinvigorated such forgotten places as Nishapur in northern Iran, the pottery bowl's hometown on the edge of Central Asia. Within a century, the town could spawn a savant for the ages like Omar Khayyam. The galleries tell an overall story, and many ministories on the way. It's worth paying close attention to their message.
Closed for renovation since 2003, the Islamic department's reopening is a huge event in the …
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Publication information: Article title: The Met Says 'Open Sesame'. Contributors: Kaylan, Melik - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek International. Volume: 158. Issue: 20 Publication date: November 14, 2011. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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