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Collecting Islamic Art, from Historical Sources to Modern Times

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This course will begin with an exploration of the early development of Islamic art and its appreciation, patronage, and collection within the Muslim courts. It will then move on to investigate the centripetal diffusion of works of Islamic art outside the Muslim world through trade, looting, and diplomatic exchange, and how this spurred awareness in collecting, particularly in Europe. When an academic interest in Islamic art and archaeology developed in the 19th century, many collectors in Europe and the United States rushed to acquire these works, and museums began to form their first collections. The most recent phenomenon is related to the creation of collections of Islamic art in wealthy Arab countries in search of their own artistic heritage and identity. 3 credits.