MFA Collection Books

Ink, Silk, and Gold
Islamic Art from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Laura Weinstein, with contributions by Emine Fetvacı, Marcus Fraser, Jennifer Pruitt, Rocco Rante, and Yael Rice
Format Regular Price Member Price
Hardcover $45.00 $40.50

192 pages, 150 color illustrations, 9 x 10.75 in, ISBN: 978-0-87846-806-5

Ink, Silk, and Gold explores the dynamic and complex traditions of Islamic art through more than 115 major works in a dazzling array of media, reproduced in full color and exquisite detail—manuscripts inscribed with gold, paintings on silk, elaborate metalwork, intricately woven textiles, luster-painted ceramics, and more. These objects, which originated within an Islamic world that ranges from Western Europe to Indonesia and across more than thirteen centuries, share a distinctive relationship to the materials they are made of: their color, shape, texture, and technique of production all convey meaning. A ninth-century Qur’an inscribed in gold ink reflects the value placed on calligraphy as a marker of religious and intellectual cultivation, and a silk mantel made for royalty in thirteenth-century Spain is woven with Arabic inscriptions. An Iranian iridescent lusterware bowl, decorated with astronomical designs, suggests the golden vessels the faithful will use in paradise; a contemporary geometric sculpture alludes to seventeenth-century Persian mirror work and Sufi mystical practices. Enhanced by texts from an international team of scholars and drawing on the latest technical information, Ink, Silk, and Gold is an inviting introduction to the riches of the Islamic art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a window into a vibrant global culture.

About the Author

Laura Weinstein is Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.