British Museum to Depict the Islamic Influence on Western Art

British Museum Touring Exhibition
Paris Tour Art Collections

The British Museum in London will host an exposition spanning five centuries, which will shed light on the influence of the Islamic world on western art. The exhibition is in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur’s Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, which will loan out artworks and artifacts to the London museum. These items will be put on view at the museum for the first-ever time, alongside the Islamic collection of it.

The British Museum director, Hartwig Fischer said the exhibition “will highlight just how extensive and enduring the cultural exchange between the west and the Islamic world has been,” while adding, “It is an artistic relationship which has endured for five centuries and has influenced an astonishing diversity of material culture.”

The exhibition is titled, “Inspired by the East: How the Islamic World Influenced Western Art”, and it will focus on cultural interactions between North America and Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa.

The exhibition will focus on Orientalism, the art movement which started back in the 1500’s and gained traction in the 19th century. It will feature photography, ceramics, jewelry, manuscripts, glass, clothing, and works of art. The works to be displayed in the museum will include “Women of Morocco” by Lalla Essaydi, and a video work by Inci Eviner known as ‘Harem’.

It will include paintings by the likes of John Frederick Lewis, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, and Eugène Delacroix, in addition to ceramics created by Théodore Deck, and works by photographer Pascal Sébah. The French ceramicist, Théodore Deck made a range of works inspired by their Islamic originals.

The Co-Curator of the British Museum touring exhibition, Olivia Threlkeld said, “Orientalism was one of the defining elements of the 19th and 20th centuries, comparable to other ‘isms’ like Surrealism and Impressionism, but it is largely forgotten today outside of academic circles.”

“This will be a rare opportunity in the UK to see these important artworks from Southeast Asia’s largest museum dedicated to Islamic art, and to think about Orientalism’s impact on art history and its legacy today.”

The British Museum renewed its partnership with Samsung on the Samsung Digital Discovery Center earlier in 2019 for five more years, also revealing that the center will undergo a renovation. The exhibition will run from October 2019 to January 2020 at the museum in London, after which it will move to the IAMM in Kuala Lumpur.

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