The rich visual and material histories of the Islamic peoples encompass many cultures and regions as diverse as Spain, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia and include one quarter of the world’s population. This introductory course selectively explores Islamic art and architecture from the lifetime of The Prophet Muhammad (d. 632) to the present. The course will feature architectural sites, including major mosques, and the significance of the manuscripts, especially the Qur’an (Koran). We will also discuss the disinclination towards the representation of figural art (aniconic art) that has fostered the development of superb calligraphy, arabesques and geometric art forms and, at times, has resulted in iconoclasm.
GROUP LEADER: Dr. Barbara Beall-Fofana is a Professor Emerita and former Chair of the Department of Art, Music and Theater at Assumption College. As a Visiting Professor at Clark University, she currently teaches African as well as Islamic Art and Architecture. She completed her doctorate at Brown University in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and her publications in Art History include articles, reviews and the book, Understanding the Art Museum.
REQUIRED BOOK: Bloom, J. and Blair, S. Islamic Arts, Phaidon Press, 1997; ISBN 978-0-7148-3176-3
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609