Refugees are by definition the most vulnerable people among us. Families don’t choose to sacrifice everything they have and leave their homes unless their homes become like the mouth of a shark. Scapegoating people who are fleeing for their lives is an inhumanity that no person with a heart should be able to defend.
Art publications are expensive to produce and difficult to update. Because of this, the Getty Foundation has worked with a handful of collaborators such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to help solve this problem. Check out the list of completely free publications below.
“Excavation of Persepolis (Iran): Throne Hall, Southern Wall, West Jamb of Western Doorway: View of Uppermost Register Picturing Enthroned King Giving Audience under the Winged Symbol with Partly Encircled Figure of Ahuramazda”
Silver and gilt plate with winged horses from the Sasanian period. The plate dates back to the 7th century CE prior to the fall of the Sasanian capital Seleucia-Ctesiphon (near modern-day Baghdad). Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Olly Alexander attends Dylan Jones and Marco Bizzarri host a cocktail party to launch new film series ‘The Performers’ at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery at The Serpentine Gallery on February 2, 2017 in London, England.
The Syrian city of Aleppo has sadly received a lot of coverage recently due to the widespread destruction from years of civil war. In spite of this, the city is still one of the great architectural treasures of the Middle East, which has drawn travelers and scholars for centuries.
When museum founder Charles Lang Freer visited Aleppo in 1908, he was delighted, writing on June 19 to his business partner Frank Hecker, “Aleppo is a charming surprise – a beautiful ancient city, and in every way more attractive than I had fancied.” Among the hundreds of photographs he collected of Asia and the Middle East are twelve lovely views in and around Aleppo.
Likewise, the German scholar Ernst Herzfeld traveled many times to Aleppo during his decades of research and exploration in the Middle East. The extraordinary number of drawings, photographs, and research notes in the Herzfeld collection is an important repository for the study of the city’s architectural heritage, so imperiled by recent conflicts.
In support of the people of Aleppo, this month we have combined selections from these two collections into a slide show, currently on display in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
When you walk into the Smithsonian’s “Art of the Qur'an” exhibition, you’re met with a book that weighs 150 pounds. The tome, which dates back to the late-1500s, has giant pages that are covered in gold and black Arabic script.
“Somebody spent a lot of time, probably years, to complete this manuscript,” says curator Massumeh Farhad. “… The size tells you a great deal about it. I mean, clearly this was not a manuscript that could have been taken out every day for private reading. This was a manuscript that was intended for public display.”
That manuscript is among more than 50 centuries-old Qurans on display at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. The exhibition isn’t about the words of the Quran so much as the people who laboriously copied the book, letter by letter. Some of their names are listed (one manuscript was written by a vizier, or prime minister, of the Ottoman Empire), but most of the creators are unknown.