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Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts


‘Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts’ is a major international loan exhibition which explores Islamic art through the universal tradition of gift giving.

Many of the most spectacular and historically significant examples of Islamic art can be classified as gifts, a number of which will be brought together for the unique purpose of this exhibition to demonstrate the integral and complex nature of gift exchange in the Islamic world.

Organised by LACMA with support from the MFAH, ‘Gifts of the Sultan’ includes work that spans from the eighth through to the nineteenth centuries. The MFAH presentation features nearly 200 works of art representing a rich variety of media from collections. Work chosen to be included in this show was Ahmed Mater’s ‘Illumination’ diptych, which shows two X-rays of humans positioned face to face. These radios are richly decorated with illumination such as a page of the sacred books.

For further information - Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Gifts of the Sultan (MFAH), 2011

23 October 2011 - 16 January 2012,Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, USA