Collections: Arts of the Islamic World

The phrases “arts of the Islamic World” and “Islamic art” refer to a variety of artistic traditions that have flourished in a vast geographic region—from southern Spain and North Africa to the islands of Southeast Asia since the advent of Islam in the late seventh century. While different cities and regions developed their own distinct secular and religious visual language, they also share certain formal and aesthetic concerns. The Freer and Sackler together hold one of the country’s finest collections of the arts of the Islamic world, with particular strengths in illustrated manuscripts and ceramics among the more than 2,200 objects.

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