Exhibitions: Chefs-d’oeuvre Islamiques de l’Aga Khan Museum - Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Development Network

Chefs-doeuvre Islamiques de lAga Khan Museum

At the Louvre, the “Chefs-d’oeuvre Islamiques de l’Aga Khan Museum” was the opening event of a season devoted to the arts and culture of the Muslim world. In an exhibition curated by Sophie Makariou, the Louvre presented nearly 80 works from the Aga Khan Museum collection.

Chefs-d'oeuvre Islamiques de l'Aga Khan MuseumOver 168,000 people visited "Chefs-d'oeuvre Islamiques de l'Aga Khan Museum" at the Louvre, Paris, from 5 October 2007 to 7 January 2008.The exhibition included six rare folios from the Shah-nameh (Book of the Kings) of Shah Tahmasp, the most famous Persian manuscript of the 16th century. It also featured magnificently preserved medieval garments. Various examples of calligraphy bore witness to the vitality of the artists of the Islamic world ranging from India to Spain and from the eighth to the nineteenth century.

The exhibition was divided into four main parts: exchanges between the Islamic world, Europe and the Far East, from figuration to narrative, architectural elements, and from the Qur’an to the aesthetics of calligraphy, including a section on the Shia tradition.

The Song of the World - Iranian Safavid Art, 1501-1736
Items from the Aga Khan Museum were also on display in another adjoining exhibition, curated by Professor Souren Melikian-Chirvani, entitled “The Song of the World - Iranian Safavid Art, 1501-1736”, which ran 5 October 2007 to 7 January 2008 in the Louvre's Napoleon Hall. These included two of the most celebrated pages from the Houghton Shah-nameh (Book of Kings).

Museum of Decorative Arts / Le musée des arts décoratifs
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture was also the main sponsor of an exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts entitled “Purs décors? Chefs d’oeuvre de l’Islam aux Arts Décoratifs” (Pure decoration? Islamic masterpieces at the Decorative Arts Museum), which will run from 11 October 2007 to 13 January 2008.

The exhibition was designed to question the artificial distinction between "fine" arts and "decorative" or "applied" arts – a differentiation particularly impossible to make in the field of Islamic art. The host museum is known for its outstanding collection of over 3,000 works of Islamic Art, including carpets, textiles, ceramics and miniatures.

For more information, please see the press release in English and en francaise and the video.

"Chefs-d'oeuvre Islamiques de l'Aga Khan Museum" catalogue
Format: PDF
Language: English
Size: 8.33MB
228 pages