Al Andalus ceramics at MIA exhibition

April 30, 2014 - 6:49:43 am
Exhibition curator Dr Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya speaking during a press tour at MIA yesterday. (Kammutty VP)

DOHA: Twenty-four centuries-old ceramics from the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) collection, most of which have never been displayed before, are being showcased at the “Ceramics of Al-Andalus” exhibition which opens today at the MIA.

The Islamic ceramics collection produced in Al-Andalus, the Arab empire established in Spain from the 8th to 15th centuries, comprise the first of the two-part temporary expo called “Building Our Collection.”

“The main highlight of the exhibition is to focus on how the MIA is trying to build a collection and with the major production of the Islamic world. Ceramics of Al-Andalus is one part of it and we want to show to the public that Islamic art is very varied,” Dr Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya, MIA Curator for North Africa and Iberia, told The Peninsula yesterday.

On view until August 30 the ceramics range from lustre albarelli used as medicinal jars for storing apothecary ointments and dried herbal drugs, to dishes featuring royal coats of arms, which exemplify the blending of Muslim and Christian artistic motifs.

“I think ceramics specifically produced in Al-Andalus are very interesting in terms of how they were produced and by whom they were produced and this part of this collection has never been displayed before. This is the occasion to bring them into light and show them to the public,” said Dr Chekhab-Abudaya.

The exhibition tells very interesting stories surrounding the objects on display as they journeyed from production to the exhibition.

Some of the interesting pieces on display are ceramics displayed at an exhibition in Cannes in 1957, in which famous artist Pablo Picasso participated with his Plats espagnols (Spanish dishes) he created incorporating Islamic motifs inspired by the ceramics.

A video on the process of choosing and researching on and conserving the objects and the whole process of preparation for the exhibition is shown at the expo.

The second part of “Building Our Collection” exhibition, Safavid and Mughal Albums, will open on September 17 and run till 

February 21. The Peninsula

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