Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art

September 18, 2015 to July 31, 2016 | Focus I Gallery

Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art is the first exhibition at the DMA of art from the rarely shown and internationally renowned Keir Collection of Islamic Art. The exhibition presents a selection of over fifty masterworks in various mediums—from rock crystal to works on paper, metalwork, ceramics, carpets, and textiles—and explores thirteen centuries of Islamic art making across three continents, from Spain to Central Asia. These magnificent objects highlight the aesthetic and cultural resonances imbued in these masterpieces by the people who made them. Organized and developed by the DMA’s Senior Advisor for Islamic Art Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, Spirit and Matter marks the first time these works will be on view in North America.

The DMA announced in February 2014 the fifteen-year loan of one of the largest private holdings of Islamic art. The Keir Collection is recognized by scholars as one of the world’s most geographically and historically comprehensive, encompassing almost two thousand works, in a range of media, that span 1,300 years of creativity.

Admission is FREE.

Programs

The Magnificent Seven: The Great Fatimid Rock Crystal Ewers from Egypt

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Jeremy Johns, Professor of the Art and Archaeology of the Islamic Mediterranean and Director of the Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Elise Morero, Researcher with the Centre, will discuss the processes and provenance behind the seven known Fatimid rock crystal ewers from Egypt. This lecture is sponsored by the Boshell Family Lecture Series on Archaeology.

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Emel Mathlouthi in Concert

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A strident songstress whose intensity is cloaked in mellifluous vocals, Emel Mathlouthi is also known for her role as a leading artist in the Arab Spring. Born in Tunis, she was shunned from her country's official airwaves but rose to prominence through social media. She released her first album, Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free), in 2012, garnering lavish praise from critics and fans for her powerful vocals laid over a unique mix of North African rythyms and modern electronic beats. 

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