Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum – Masterpieces of Islamic Art
17. March 2010 – 06. June 2010
An exhibition of the Aga Khan Foundation. Organizer: Berliner Festspiele
This is the first time the Aga Khan’s collection has been exhibited in Germany. More than 200 masterpieces have been chosen to document more than one thousand years of cultural history. The works on display in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau are from the collection of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Karim Aga Khan IV is the spiritualhead of the Ismaili Muslims. He is also regarded as a direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammed. His collection is considered to be one of the world’s largest and most valuable collections of Islamic art and will be housed from 2013 onwards in the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
The Berlin exhibition will show some of the most important works of art from traditionally Islamic countries, including pages from the Persian heroic epic“Shahnama”, or “Book of Kings” by the poet Firdawsi. The miniatures are among the most remarkable in the world. Furthermore there is the oldest known Arabic manuscript of the later translated “Canon of Medicine” by Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Abu Ali Ibn Sina was a philosopher and physician. For over 500 years his magnum opus served as a standard work and textbook for physicians in Europe. Other outstanding cultural artefacts are a very well preserved Mongolian robe of silk damask from the 13th century and a double page of the “Blue Koran” from the 9th century. The blue parchment sheets are written in golden letters in the Kufi script and are among the most valuable and elaborate Koran manuscripts in the world.
In general the artworks on display– paintings, drawings, book illustrations, manuscripts, inscriptions, metalwork vessels, ceramics, and wood carvings – make one realize the extraordinary variety and overwhelming richness of an Islamic culture which from the 8th to the 18th centuries stretched from the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula all the way to China.
Source: Museum Portal