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Islamic art

Curator’s Corner

Beautiful in Cobalt Blue

Monday, August 15, 2022 | Karl Cole

Being a painter, I have colors that I consider essential to almost every painting I make. I tend to prefer phthalo and cobalt colors. (Safety note: yes, I always wear gloves when I paint.) O ...

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Curator’s Corner

Wistful about Writing: Tughra

Monday, July 11, 2022 | Karl Cole

I am painfully aware that very few people learn to write in cursive these days. When I was a teaching assistant in grad school, some students couldn’t read my grading remarks because I wrote the ...

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Curator’s Corner

Muthanna: Calligraphic Mirror Writing

Monday, January 31, 2022 | Karl Cole

I’m celebrating two national days today with this beautiful calligraphy—National Backward Day and National Inspire your Heart with Art Day. What better way than with an image of calligraph ...

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Curator’s Corner

National Romance Awareness Month 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021 | Karl Cole

I was not aware of the association of romance with the month of August, but I think it’s refreshing. On one website that explains national month days, it said that “February isn’t th ...

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Curator’s Corner

Rethinking Classicism Part 4

Thursday, August 13, 2020 | Karl Cole

Today's Rethinking Classicism post brings us to the city of Isfahan, Iran. The Safavid dynasty (1501–1736) was a cultural pinnacle in Persian history. The Safavid rulers were massive patrons of ...

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Curator’s Corner

Gem of the Month: The Blue Mosque

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | Karl Cole

Istanbul is yet another one of the places on my “to see” list that I probably will never get to see. One of the big draws for me to that city—besides its amazing history as the forme ...

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Curator’s Corner

Gem of the Month: Mughal Architecture

Monday, July 29, 2019 | Karl Cole

Aside from painting, architecture is one of the most stunning legacies of the Mughal Empire that ruled most of India between 1526 and (technically) 1857, when it was dissolved by the British East Indi ...

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Curator’s Corner

A Multicultural Proclaimer

Monday, December 18, 2017 | Karl Cole

Westerners usually think of the Archangel Gabriel in terms of Christmas cards depicting the Annunciation, when he proclaimed to Mary that she would conceive Jesus. Well, it turns out that he was a mul ...

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Curator’s Corner

It's All in the Details, part 2

Thursday, March 9, 2017 | Karl Cole

The sculptural decoration of Hoysala Dynasty (ca. 1050–ca. 1346) architecture is particularly ornate and worth scoping out. In the West, we are so inundated with data about the “sculpture ...

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Curator’s Corner

What Type of Balance? You Decide.

Monday, November 14, 2016 | Karl Cole

I probably shouldn’t be using the word Balance after the latest election. Let’s ignore that by doing some visual exercises. I’m always intrigued with the issue of “balance&rdqu ...

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Curator’s Corner

Letters Are Beautiful

Thursday, October 13, 2016 | Karl Cole

I learned long ago how venerated calligraphy is in some cultures, and we speak of that in many of our Davis books. A short while ago as I was reading about contemporary Iranian artist Parastou Forouha ...

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Curator’s Corner

World Watercolor Month

Friday, July 8, 2016 | Karl Cole

July is World Watercolor Month. I’m always happy to celebrate a medium in which I am really not terribly good. I have a feeling it’s because I’m an impatient Virgo who can’t st ...

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Curator’s Corner

A Beautiful Idea...and Building

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Karl Cole

Once, while on a plane landing at O’Hare when I lived in Chicago, the sun was going down and we flew in low over this spectacular building. I’ll never forget that sight. And, yes, it was i ...

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Curator’s Corner

Too Nice to Put on the Floor

Monday, June 29, 2015 | Karl Cole

Every so often I learn about a period in history in a certain place that seemed to have everything going for it—relative peace, flourishing economy and vibrant artistic culture, and a government ...

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Curator’s Corner

Survey No. 10: Ubiquitous Real

Monday, January 19, 2015 | Karl Cole

So far we have taken a look at Classicism and Romanticism around the world in the 1800s. Now let’s look at “realism,” which—like every other style—has been a trend somewh ...

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Curator’s Corner

Survey No. 7: The 1700s

Monday, December 22, 2014 | Karl Cole

As we approach the 1800s in our Art History Survey, just so we do not forget (as if) that art was being produced in other parts of the world besides the West, let’s look elsewhere at art produce ...

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