This fall the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will unveil 15 new galleries dedicated to Islamic art from Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Occupying about 19,000 square feet of the museum, the new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia will contain more than 1,000 works spanning 13 centuries and will be arranged by geographical area.
The Met Museum’s Islamic collection ranges from Turkish textiles to Persian carpets to coins, decorative tiles, and miniature paintings. The new galleries will contain all of these items plus the Damascus Room (formerly Nur al-Din), an example of a Syrian home during the height of the Ottoman Empire; miniature paintings of the Taj Mahal from the imperial “Shah Jahan Album;” and a lavish, blue-tiled 14th century prayer niche from Isfahan, Iran. One of the most impressive new additions to the museum will be the Moroccan Court, a room for which artisans from Fez were invited to reconstruct a typical Moroccan courtyard to “underscore the living heritage of the Islamic world.”
The Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands is set to open on November 1. Until then, have a look at this video of the construction of the Moroccan Court, a fine preview of the exquisite new addition to one of the best museums in the world.