I was about to write this post when I heard the appalling news of severe bomb damage to the Islamic Museum in Cairo. What dreadful times that great city is going through. Here is a group of Sudanese curators in the museum in happier times, with Michael Mallinson, architect of the Cairo Children’s Museum, and Jelena Trkulja of the Qatar Museums Authority.
Much more cheering is the news that a new Subject Specialist Network has been set up in the UK. The Islamic Art Subject Specialist Network. is beginning by conducting a survey which aims to identify all Islamic art and material culture in UK collections. ‘The survey has a very broad focus which encompasses all material relating to Islamic/Middle Eastern social life, the social history of British Muslim communities, and other Muslim diaspora communities around the world.’ Jenny Wright, the Network’s researcher, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And by coincidence I’ve just managed to get a copy of this book. It’s really excellent. It grew out of a conference to inform thinking and planning for the new Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin. They brought together people concerned with Islam and museums from all over the world, all of whom seem to write very well, and all of whom were clearly asked to be BRIEF! They raise all sorts of fascinating issues. Essential reading for anyone interested in museums, not merely Islamic art ones. Highly recommended.