Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gifts Of The Sultan: The Arts Of Giving At The Islamic Courts (Los Angeles Museum Of Contempo) From Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts (Los Angeles Museum of Contempo)

Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts (Los Angeles Museum of Contempo)
From Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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Product Description

The giving of gifts both delights the recipient and pleases the giver. Practiced in all societies, gift exchange has a history as long as humanity. This gloriously illustrated catalogue is the first investigation of gift-giving and its impact on the development of art in the Islamic world. Presenting some 240 rare and costly works of art associated with gift exchanges among the courts of Islam, Byzantium, western Europe, and eastern Asia, the book provides a wide-ranging view of Islamic art and culture from the 8th through the 19th century.

At courts across the Islamic world, gift-giving often served as a nexus of art and diplomacy, religion, and interpersonal relations. The book examines the complex interplay between artistic production and gift-based patronage through numerous examples of deluxe, aesthetically pleasing objects either commissioned or repurposed as gifts. Tracing the unique histories of selected artworks, the book also explores how the exchange of luxury objects played a central role in the circulation, emulation, and assimilation of artistic forms within and beyond the Islamic world.
Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #176475 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-07-05
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 336 pages
Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Linda Komaroff is curator of Islamic art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and author or editor of numerous books and articles on aspects of Islamic art.
Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
5The Fine Art of Gifting
By Grady Harp
There is present in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a new exhibition, curated by Linda Komaroff, the museum's curator of Islamic Art that is a blockbuster. The catalogue - GIFTS OF THE SULTAN: THE ARTS OF GIVING AT THE ISLAMIC COURTS is equally compelling, so generous is its use of reproductions of the many items in the exhibition. Granted, the Russians declined to loan some of the more lavish intended works to be in the exhibition, but even without those this is a book and exhibition that deserves attention.

Based on the concept of giving gifts at he highest level of societies with special emphasis on the Islamic world, the book is a study of the 'politics' of gifting. The gifts represented here carry the secondary gain of winning approval and sanction within the courts of the palaces throughout eastern Asia, Byzantium, western Europe and Islam that were de rigueur, not only in displaying the fortune of the giver but also in flattering the receiver with luxurious tokens that would set a standard for reciprocation! According to Komaroff "In Arabic and Persian, there are all kinds of nuanced words that we don't have in English that describe if it's a forced gift, or from a lower ranking official to a higher ranking, or one given to curry favour. It kept the wheels greased. People preferred to give gifts than fight battles." In keeping with the tile of the book and the exhibition there art works of contemporary artists - Iraq-born, Iran-based Sadegh Tirafkan, Pakistani-American Shahzia Sikander, and Saudi Arabian Ahmed Mater--who were commissioned to create works on the theme of generosity. The combination of the ancient and the contemporary makes this book/catalogue an important resource for art students and students of Islam tradition. Grady Harp, June 11


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