You may have noticed a new display case at Cartwright Hall recently. Our Curator for International and Decorative Arts, Nilesh Mistry gave us a little insight into the development.
Bradford’s Islamic calligraphy collection has gained a new lease of life thanks to an Arts Council England grant managed by the Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network (IAMCSSN).
The grant helped to improve access and documentation, provide translations and scholarly advice on the historic and cultural significance of the collection.
Former curator of the Ashmolean Islamic Collection and later the Keeper of Eastern Art, Professor James Allan provided invaluable scholarly insight into the collection comprising fine art works and decorative art objects used for ritual and secular purpose. His overall analysis of the collection has enabled recommendations on the future development of the collection.
As a result a new case of calligraphic objects is now on display in the permanent galleries at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.
Amongst others visitors can view a stunning array of exhibits including a blue Kashan Persian pot from 12th century Iran, an official seal from the court of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1627-1665) India and newly commissioned historic and contemporary calligraphy samples by renowned London based master calligrapher Soraya Syed.
In comparison to other Bradford collections the calligraphy collection is a relatively young collection; however it demonstrates the versatility of the art manifesting in objects constructed in ceramics, glass, brass, textiles, wood and more.
Working with the gallery Learning Team other project outcomes included professional object photography and calligraphy workshops for schools and family groups