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Art Diary

Art of the Islamic Worlds

3 March 2023

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston celebrates the culmination of a 15-year initiative to expand their displays of Islamic art with the opening of two permanent gallery spaces (on 5 March). Hundreds of objects from the museum’s permanent collections as well as long-term loans from the collection of Hossein Afshar and the al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait are on display. Highlights include a North African Qur’an manuscript in Maghribi script, dating to around 1318, and a 19th-century Persian mirror case, decorated with gul-u-bul-bul, or the rose and nightingale – a popular motif in Persian literature and painting that symbolises spiritual love and divine connection. Find out more on the MFAH’s website.

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Mirror case (mid 19th century), Iran. Hossein Afshar Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Shakhrisyabz Suzani textile (c. 1800), Uzbekistan. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Dancing Girl (1778–79), Muhammad Baqir. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Dish with lion (late 15th century), Iran. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston