Curator’s Corner

Islamic art

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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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