In 1977, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art presented the “Age of Spirituality”, an exhibition tracing the first centuries of the Byzantine Empire with original artworks. Almost 20 years later, in 1996, the museum hosted another magnificent exhibition, that complemented the first one, titled “The Glory of Byzantium”, focusing on the middle Byzantine period.
This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents another exhibition on the Byzantium. This time, the exhibition’s theme will be dealing with the period of transition from Byzantium to Islam, recording development in the southern and affluent provinces of the Empire in the 7th century.
The exhibition will run from March 14 until July 8, and include 250 objects from 33 countries, among them being Greece and Cyprus. The title of the exhibition is “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition”.
As stated, it will present the interaction between Byzantium and Islam in the eastern Mediterranean, between the 7th and 9th century. The objects will reflect the influence of the Byzantine state’s southern provinces on Islamic art and the continuous influence of Hellenism – through Byzantium – on the emerging Islamic tradition.
According to the Museum’s press release, “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition represents the first major museum exhibition to focus on this pivotal era in the history of the eastern Mediterranean. Through some 300 exceptional works of art, the landmark presentation will reveal the artistic and cultural adaptations and innovations that resulted during the initial centuries of contact between these two worlds. The works are drawn primarily from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the Benaki Museum, Athens, and also include many stellar loans from other institutions in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.”
Major support for the exhibition has been provided by Mary and Michael Jaharis, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and The Hagop Kevorkian Fund, as well as private and state organizations in New York.
Source: ANA – MPA