For eight years, the vast collections of Islamic art at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has been unavailable to the public, but now visitors can enjoy the collection as never before. Holland Cotter of the New York Times has a review.
The new galleries are called the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia and include 1,200 works spanning more than 1,000 years.
As its title implies, that vista has been carefully thought out and framed. Rather than presenting Islamic art as the product of a religiously driven monoculture encompassing centuries and continents, the Met is now — far more realistically — approaching it as a varied, changing, largely secular phenomenon, regionally rooted but absorptively cosmopolitan, affected by the intricacies and confusions of history, including the history that the art itself helped to create.