Exhibition Opening Lecture: Inside the World of the Islamic Calligrapher. Mary McWilliams.
In Islamic culture calligraphy has retained its status as the quintessential art form, and calligraphers are considered the most highly esteemed artists. According to Islamic tradition the first thing created by God was the pen, and the practice of calligraphy constituted an expression of piety. Co-curator Mary McWilliams, Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art, Arthur M. Sackler Museum Harvard University gives an introduction to the exhibitions "Traces of the Calligrapher: Islamic Calligraphy in Practice, ca. 1600-1900" and "Writing the Word of God: Calligraphy and the Qu'ran."