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Alongside exceptional illustrations of key pieces from the V&A’s unrivalled collection of Islamic art, The Making of the Jameel Gallery describes the history of the gallery and the Islamic collections, the curatorial processes that contribute to the selection of themes and objects for the re-display, and the creation of a new and exciting design for the gallery.
As well as appealing to those with a fascination for Islamic art, the commentary by members of the team who were involved in the project, technical details and plans of the gallery will interest museum professionals, exhibition and gallery designers, architects and conservators the world over.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has one of the world’s great collections of Islamic art from the Middle East, and it is more than half a century since the pick of this collection was first displayed in a large hall near the main entrance. This space, now renamed the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, has been transformed into one of the museum’s most spectacular displays.
The key to the success of the new gallery has been the decision to lay the huge, beautiful and historically important Ardabil carpet on the floor in the centre of the hall and to design the rest of the once-gloomy room around it.
The carpet is protected by a canopy suspended just above head-height and at floor level by non-reflecting glass walls. It is therefore fully visible to visitors – particularly when the lights are on. To prevent fading, the lights are activated for only ten minutes on the hour and half hour, providing an unusual touch of drama to a gallery visit.
Cornucopia 36 for the full 10-page article
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