The Experience of Islamic Art on the Margins of Islam

This book is a collection of papers from the Giorgio Levi Della Vida Conference. It explores the meaning of Islamic art in various different contexts, beginning with its effect on those who experience the art firsthand, using as examples the mantle of Roger II of Sicily and the ceiling of the Capella Palatine, both of which are remarkable works of Islamic art used and experienced by non-Muslims. The idea that objects can be used to demonstrate the reaction of one culture to another is explored, and we are given a glimpse into the social meanings of objects. The role of colonization in the representation of the Islamic art of Algeria following the French invasion is followed by a discussion of India’s Deccan Plateau as a civilizational frontier between the Hindus and Muslims. The book ends with a look at how historical accounts of events affecting holy buildings in India can be vital in motivating present day action, and that these accounts must therefore be written in a historically and morally responsible way.

Irene A. Bierman is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and former Director of the Gustav E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Hardback • 241 mm x 171 mm • ISBN 9780863723001 • 192 pages • £29.95