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Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place

9 September 2017 - 25 February 2018
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Featuring more than 100 outstanding works of art, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place will showcase the long history, vast geographic expanse, and amazing diversity of works of art in the Islamic world.

Two factors distinguish this exhibition: first, the inclusion of works from Southeast Asia and East and West Africa, areas largely overlooked in most exhibitions of Islamic art; and second, modern and contemporary works are featured side-by-side with historic objects.

Works in the exhibition cover nearly all media, ranging from carpets to dress to jewelry, ceramics, glass, metal, paintings, prints, calligraphy and photographs. This exhibition will delight viewers with dazzling works that span over 1,400 years of artistry.


This exhibition is organized by the Newark Museum.

Nationally, the exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and the Anchorage Foundation. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional exhibitions and programming to Asia Society Texas Center. 

Presenting Sponsor

Program Sponsors

  

Admission Information

Admission to this exhibition is free for Asia Society Members and children ages 12 and under, $5 for Nonmembers.

 

Free Admission Times

There are many opportunities to visit this exhibition for FREE! Check out the list below.

Reception Celebrating Wondrous Worlds Exhibition
Thursday, September 7, 6:30-8:30 pm

Attending an Asia Society program? Your ticket grants you free admission to the gallery before the start of the program.


Hours

Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday– Sunday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Closed Mondays.

 

Photography

Photography of the exhibition without flash is permitted.

Press Release

Houston, Texas, Bringing together both historic and contemporary objects from Asia, Africa, the United States, and Europe, Asia Society Texas Center’s upcoming exhibition, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place, showcases the global history and breadth of Islamic art. The exhibition opens September 9, 2017 and runs through February 25, 2018.

Organized by New Jersey’s Newark Museum, the exhibition at Asia Society will feature more than 100 works that reflect aspects of faith, culture, and everyday life of Muslims across the world and throughout the ages.

“Islamic art usually focuses on works from the Middle East, North Africa or South Asia, but Wondrous Worlds expands the map by featuring works from Southeast Asia, the Americas, and East and West Africa as well,” explains Bridget Bray, the Texas Center’s Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions. “By including these often overlooked regions, the exhibition highlights the vast geographic reach and material diversity of Islamic art.”

Wondrous Worlds introduces visitors to the Five Pillars of Islam—Declaration of Faith, Daily Prayers, Charity, Fasting for Ramadan, and the Haj Pilgrimage—to provide context and a distinctive view into the function, artistry, and cultural histories of the objects.

On view will be works in nearly all media, including carpets, costumes, jewelry, ceramics, glassware, metalwork, prints, paintings, and photographs. Contemporary works from artists such as Lalla Essaydi and Victor Ekpuk, and modern day calligraphy by Hassan Massoudy, will be shown with pieces dating back to the 9th century. Highlights range from dazzling wares from Iran, Spain, and Chcina to delicate prayer rugs from Turkey and India.

A FREE reception will be held at Asia Society on Thursday, September 7 from 6 to 8 pm for guests to enjoy light bites and preview the art. A conversation between Dr. Katherine Anne Paul, the exhibition's guest curator, and Ms. Bray will highlight the evening. Local calligraphic artists will be demonstrating their art form during the reception as well.

General admission to the exhibition is FREE for Asia Society members and children ages 12 and under, $5 for nonmembers. Asia Society Texas Center, located at 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, Texas, is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm, and Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm.

Nationally, the exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center. 


About Asia Society Texas Center

With 12 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the west. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. Visit us at AsiaSociety.org/Texas.


Download the press release here.

Related Programs and Tours

Reception Celebrating Wondrous Worlds Exhibition
Thursday, September 7, 6:30-8:00 pm
Enjoy complimentary admission to the exhibition and a reception with light bites. A conversation between Dr. Katherine Anne Paul, the exhibition's guest curator, and Bridget Bray, the Texas Center’s Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions, will highlight the evening along with an art demonstration by local calligraphic artist Sana Mirza

Curator Talk: Dr. Katherine Anne Paul
Saturday, September 9, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Wondrous Worlds guest curator Dr. Katherine Anne Paul will look into the diversity of and profound meaning related to the works in the exhibition.

Islamic Calligraphy Workshop
Saturday, September 30, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm
Students will enjoy hands-on instruction in using traditional pen tools and writing Arabic alphabets. 
In collaboration with the Islamic Arts Society of Houston

Homeschool Tour and Workshop
Wednesday, October 4, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Asia Society welcomes homeschool families to attend a tour of Wondrous Worlds, followed by a discussion, lesson plan, and hands-on activity for adults and students.

Homeschool Tour and Workshop
Wednesday, November 1, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Asia Society welcomes homeschool families to attend a tour of Wondrous Worlds, followed by a discussion, lesson plan, and hands-on activity for adults and students.

Islamic Geometric Art Workshop
Saturday, December 16, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm
This hands-on workshop explores the use of geometry and color in Islamic art.
In collaboration with the Islamic Arts Society of Houston

 

Monthly Tours

Saturday, September 9, 3 pm

Saturday, October 14, 3 pm

Saturday, November 11, 3 pm

Saturday, December 9, 3 pm

Saturday, January 13, 3 pm

Saturday, February 10, 3 pm

To schedule a group tour outside of these designated days, please fill out the form below or contact Sarah Collins, Education & Outreach Coordinator, at [email protected]

Schedule a group tour »

 

School Tours

School tours, facilitated by the education department staff and volunteers, provide educationally rich interactive opportunities for students to learn about Asian art, culture, and traditions. These free tours are open to all public, private, charter, alternative, and home schools. Visits take place on weekdays, Tuesday through Friday, for one to two hours.

All school tours and subsequent interactive projects are tethered to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and district curriculum standards. They may include:

  • Docent-led tour of exhibitions in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery

  • "Introduction to Asia” PowerPoint Presentation highlighting essential information about Asian art, culture, geography, and politics

  • Guided tour of the Texas Center and discussion of its unique architecture

  • Interactive projects based on the current exhibition (not available during summer months, June through August)

At least two weeks’ notice is required for school tours and additional advance notice is required for groups larger than 25. Learn more about the school tour interactive project at the link below.

Schedule a school tour »

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Credits

This exhibition is organized by Newark Museum.

Nationally, the exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and the Anchorage Foundation. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional exhibitions and programming to Asia Society Texas Center. 

Presenting Sponsor

Program Sponsors

  

Plan Your Visit

1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004
713.496.9901

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