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Harvard Workshop: Codicology and Islamic Book Art

February 28, 2019

An Introduction to Codicology and the Arts of the Book of the Islamic World

Thursday, February 28, 10am-noon and 2-4pm

Houghton Library, groups meet in lobby

Places are limited. Please register: http://bit.ly/IslamicManuscriptsRettig

A Hands-on Workshop on Islamic Codicology

This workshop provides an opportunity to examine a selection of Islamic manuscripts in the collections of the Houghton Library. It introduces the general components of works made in an area stretching from the Mediterranean to India as well as the materials used to produce them. Emphasis will be put on the analysis of visuals elements (layout, script, and painting) which testify to the different contexts of creation with geographical, historical, and linguistic particularities. I will not only show the manuscripts’ original characteristics but also present the traces which help to understand their later history and usage, such as signs of refurbishments and marks of ownership.

Workshop Leader

Dr. Simon Rettig is Assistant Curator for Islamic Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. A specialist of the arts of the book in the Islamic world, he curated the exhibitions Nasta‘liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy (2014), The art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016) and The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran (2018). Rettig is the co-editor of the catalogue A Collector’s Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer (2017) and of the forthcoming volume The Word Illuminated: Forms and Functions of Qur’anic Manuscripts.