“This unique and splendid volume contains insights into cultural creativity stretching from medieval Spain to Mughal India, from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. It obliterates dichotomies of East-West, Christian-Muslim, and religious-secular, replacing them with Islamicate traces of dalliance and delight for all who explore these well-wrought essays. Magnificently illustrated.”—Bruce B. Lawrence, author of Who Is Allah?
“Cosmopolitanism is a particularly effective lens through which to examine Islamic art, which is rife with examples of intercultural exchange and fluidity. This volume makes a significant contribution not only to the field of Islamic art, but also more generally to the fields of art history and Islamic studies.”—Deborah S. Hutton, coeditor of Rethinking Place in South Asian and Islamic Art, 1500–Present
This richly illustrated volume highlights the history of Islamic cosmopolitanism as documented through works of art from the eighth century to the present; from the Mediterranean, North Africa, South Asia, and the United States; and including painting, architecture, textiles, calligraphy, photography, and animation. These essays examine Muslim artists, patrons, and collectors’ engagement with global influences, as well as artistic exchange between Muslim and non-Muslim societies.
Drawing on Kwame Anthony Appiah’s view of cosmopolitanism as respect for the differences among people and acknowledgment of a shared community across those differences, leading scholars offer case studies of art objects that illustrate such dynamics in the Islamic cultural sphere. In doing so, they bring Islamic art history into dialogue with Western European medieval art, Byzantine art, African art, global modern art, and American art and architecture. This timely volume demonstrates the importance of cultivating coexistence, becoming citizens of the world, and recognizing the possibilities of cultural intersections. It offers historical examples of such intersections, for which works of art provide a visual testament.
A volume in the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Manuscript Series, edited by Allysa B. Peyton
Melia Belli Bose, associate professor of South Asian art history at the University of Victoria, is the author of Royal Umbrellas of Stone: Memory, Politics, and Public Identity in Rajput Funerary Art and editor of Women, Gender and Art in Asia, c. 1500–1900.
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