ARTH 359

Islamic Art

Islamic culture is truly global, encircling the planet from the Islamic Center of Tacoma, WA to the Kaaba in Mecca, to the myriad mosques of Xinjiang Province in China. The history of the Islamic world is equally vast, spanning over a millennium. This course focuses on the history of Islamic visual culture from the 7th through the 17th century and explores works of art in a variety of media (e.g. architecture and monumental decoration, book illuminations, ceramics, metal-works, textiles, etc.) both from the religious and the secular realms. Artworks are examined with particular attention to their original function, context, and intended audience, and are presented from a range of methodological perspectives. Topics of special interest include: formation of Islamic art; function and decoration of Islamic religious artifacts and architecture; development of regional styles; interactions of text and image; visual expressions of power and authority; reflections of gender; garden culture.