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Apparently I live in a city with one of the  most significant collections of Islamic art in the world.  Where have I been?

Silver ornament from Turkish soldier's cap


“These widely diverse arts, from an area extending from southern Spain to Central Asia, trace the distinctive visual imagination of Islamic artists over a period of fourteen hundred years. The collection comprises more than 1,700 works, of which some 150 examples are on view; these include glazed ceramics, inlaid metalwork, enameled glass, carved wood and stone, and manuscript illustration, illumination, and calligraphy. Particular strengths of the collection are glazed pottery and tiles from Iran and Turkey ; glass, especially from the late seventh to the mid-thirteenth century; and Persian and Turkish arts of the book.”

LACMA Acquires Islamic Art – Los Angeles Times

AND guess what I have for you a printable 2 for price of 1 admission coupon to visit the Museum but it expires in April, 2010 so make the trip.  LACMA COUPON

I am planning mine as I write this. Maybe I will have LF#1 do some research before we go there- she is an ‘artist’ Mama.

Geometric Pattern Bowl

Tile

What I am most excited to see is the Aradebil

The lessor known secret Ardabil rug

This is the second “secret” carpet of the pair. Sacrificed to repair its magnificent twin at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Smaller, now borderless, and made up from the remaining usable sections, was sold to American businessmen Clarence Mackay and was exchanged by wealthy buyers for years. “Passing through the Mackay, Yerkes, and De la Mare art collections, it was eventually revealed and shown in 1931 at an exposition in London. American industrialist J. Paul Getty saw it, and bought it from Lord Duveen for approximately $70,000 several years later. Getty was approached by agents on behalf of King Farouk of Egypt who offered $250,000 so that it could be given as a wedding present.

This couplet grace the carpets above the signature-

I have no refuge in this world other than thy threshold
My head has no resting place other than this doorway

-Hafiz


The Ardabil Carpet

“The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is fortunate to possess one of   renowned Persian carpets, the so-called Ardabil Carpet, whose better-known mate hangs in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.”

I remember visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum as a child, holding my Aboo’s hand as he made sure we understood the history each mystical artifact.  The ‘Arabdil’ was the magic carpet in my 8-year-old eyes.

“Brought to England sometime in the late nineteenth century, the carpets were
reported to have come from the Safavid shrine at Ardabil. There is still a good deal
of speculation about where and for whom such sumptuous court carpets were
commissioned. The outer borders and a section of the lower field were believed to
have been removed from the carpet now in Los Angeles in order to repair the one
now in London. The Los Angeles carpet was subsequently given a new outer
border. Apart from these differences, the two carpets are virtually identical.

According to their dated signatures, this matched pair of carpets were made in1539–40, by a certain Maqsud of Kashan, who may have been the designer who prepared the patterns and oversaw the project; or he may have been the  commissioned the carpets. Predominantly blue, red, and yellow, the overall composition of the carpets—based on a central medallion with  radiating pendants,with quarter medallions repeated in the corners—is ultimately derived from contemporary and earlier bookbinding and manuscript illumination, as is typical of many so-called medallion carpets. The Ardabils, however, include a unique design element in that lamps are depicted projecting from the top and bottom of the central medallion. Medallions and lamps are set against a dense field of flowers that grow from scrolling leafy vines.”
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