Hazel Crampton-Hayes

I found the collection of Muslim art to be exquisitely beautiful and detailed. In class we have discussed the incorporation of calligraphy into works of art and it was definitely helpful to see that played out in actual works of art. The use of verses from the Quran as art and as parts of art helped to show me two qualities that the Quran has in Muslim life that I think are important. It is clear from the use of Quranic verses in works of art and pieces that are used every day that the Quran is ubiquitous and a constant presence in Muslim life. Muslims should be thinking regularly about the Quran and what it says and asks for. Yet simultaneously it is abundantly clear that the Quran is sacred and special. Quranic verses are often used in these works of art with incredible attention to detail and lots of gold, definitely showing how every word in the Quran is revered. So there exists within the use of Quranic texts in art a sort of duality- a constant presence and yet also a special and unique treasure.

I was also struck by the use of repetition and detail. I was aware that Muslim art often incorporates geometric shapes, but it was helpful to see that actually carried out, especially in the plate and other physical pieces of art. The use of patterns and colors enables the art to be incredibly beautiful and also mesmerizing. The use of gold adds exquisite detail and illuminates the works. Because Muslim art focuses on objects, patterns, and calligraphy rather than people, it expresses the eternality and infinite wisdom of God in an abstract but still incredibly beautiful way.