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Islamic Art in

Image and Object A Resource Guide for K-12 Educators Based on the exhibition on view February 5 - May 31, 2007 From the Godwin-Ternbach Museum @ Queens College

Bowl decorated with blue and white trellis design, inhabited by birds, fish, and plants, (Seljuk Period, Iran, 12th - 13th c. AD), scalloped rim “Rhagesware” terracotta, 8 3/4” diameter x 4” height.

Copyright Š 2006 by The Godwin-Ternbach Museum Queens College, City University of New York. Editors and Project Coordinators: Dr. Rikki Asher and Dr. Amy Winter Layout & Design: Kristina Seekamp This guide was made possible through generous support of Queens College by the Office of the President Dr. Penny Hammerich, Dean of Education, Dr. Eleanor Armour-Thomas, Chair, Secondary Education and Youth Services.

Welcome from the Director It is a great pleasure for the Godwin-Ternbach Museum to develop its educational program in collaboration with Dr. Rikki Asher, her Queens College Art Education students, and the Lincoln Center Institute for Higher Education Collaborative for Aesthetic Education. This curriculum guide for teachers and students was produced for the special exhibition “The Grandeur of Islamic Art in Image and Object,” which displays stunning fine art photographs of the world-renowned Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, and objects from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and other New York collections.” Developed in an interdisciplinary fashion, and with sensitivity to interfaith issues, the guide also seeks to promote intercultural understanding, inquiry, and exchange. The guide focuses on Islamic art objects in the Museum’s collection, and has been designed in the classic triadic museum learning structure—Pre-Museum In-Class Activities; Museum Visit; and Post-Museum In-Class Activities—to optimize the Museum and in-class experience. It offers an interdisciplinary and multi-modal methodology that encourages cultural and aesthetic appreciation and knowledge, and creativity and self-awareness that go far beyond specific cultural or historical boundaries. Materials in the guide include background on the history of Islamic art and civilizations; texts on the cultural, historical, and symbolic significance of chosen objects; reproductions of the objects; and In-Class Post-Museum Activities. These materials were designed to allow teachers and students to explore the art in the exhibition and their own intellectual, imaginative and creative powers; and to create a memorable and meaningful bridge between the Museum, educators, and students. The texts and activities were the direct result of an exciting and ongoing partnership the Museum has with Dr. Asher and her graduate students. Some of the methodologies and strategies of questioning found in the In-Class Museum Activity exercises were utilized by the team itself and based on the LCI aesthetic education approach to developing a line of inquiry, with marvelous results. From there, Dr. Asher and her students applied learning concepts and theory utilized in their “Visual Thinking” seminar in their writing of curricula. As such, practice and theory have joined in an empathetic and practical union that enhances aesthetic perception and appreciation at the same time that it develops intellectual and artistic curiosity and applied skills. Special thanks are owed to a number of people for their help in organization of this project, particularly Nasser D. Khalili, Queens College alumnus, for making the resources of his collection available to us; Mark Rosenblum, Professor, Dept. of History and Director of the Michael Harrington Center for his insightful and tireless efforts in realizing the exhibition and arranging all public programs; Lisa Brody, Asst. Professor, Department of Art, for choosing and interpreting the objects from the GTM collection; the Lincoln Center Institute for acting as liaison and mentor to teachers in their visits to the Museum; and of course Dr. Asher and her students for having undertaken this project. We are also indebted to the Queens College Department of Education, and Queens College itself, for the opportunity to link the Museum’s educational program with such wonderful efforts. Finally, we are always very grateful for the support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Public Service program and the Friends of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum. We know you will find this manual a model for use with this special exhibition of Islamic art and for future involvement with the Museum’s collection. Amy Winter Director and Curator

Table of Contents I.

How To Use These Materials…………………………………………....................1 • Student Goals • Procedures for Teachers


Introduction……………………………………………………………………..2 - 4 • Exploring Objects with Students • Visual Thinking Questioning Strategies


Summary & History of Islam and Islamic Art………………………………..5 - 9 • What is Islam?  The Five Pillars of Islam • What is Islamic Art?  Calligraphy  Pattern & Decoration  Figural Imagery  Animal Symbolism • Islamic Historical Timeline • Map


Visual Materials……………………………………………………………....10 - 16 • Godwin-Ternbach Museum Collection • Images of Selected Works, each with corresponding:  Discussion Questions  Making Connections


Glossary……………………………………………………………………….17 - 19


Activities………………………………………………………………………20 - 42 • Overview • Each Unit Plan includes three lessons:  Pre-Museum Activities & Discussion  Museum Activities & Discussion  Post-Museum Activities & Discussion


Additional Resources………………………………………………………..43 - 44 • Teacher Bibliography • Student Bibliography • Local Islamic Cultural Centers • Websites

VIII. Evaluation……………………………………………………………………45 - 46

Islamic Art in Image and Object I. How To Use These Materials These materials were designed to provide an understanding and appreciation of Islamic art to K-12 students and their teachers. The aim is to provide teachers with a basic outline of information, historical content, reference material, and activities to be used in the classroom and at the museum related to the theme of Islamic art. Teachers may adapt this information for students of all grade levels, interests, and abilities. Each activity is linked to the Learning Standards for the Arts to enable teachers to easily adapt them into classroom curricula. It is important to keep in mind that this Resource Guide offers suggestions of ways students can learn about these works of art, and that there is a rich collection of visual and written material to enrich art, social studies, and language arts curricula that would lend themselves to making interdisciplinary connections. There are many ways these ideas may be adapted and enhanced with more information and other themes. STUDENT GOALS • To understand the artistic heritage of Islam • To discover major ideas visually communicated through symbols and artistic concepts in Islamic art • To become comfortable talking about works of art. As students practice describing what they see through visual thinking techniques, they will be able to describe, analyze, and interpret Islamic art. In expressing their interpretations

about the meaning of the art, they will develop language and critical-thinking skills To find imaginative connections between works of art and students’ own lives To use a variety of artistic materials, techniques, and processes in projects and activities related to the Islamic Art exhibition on view in the GodwinTernbach Museum at CUNY Queens College

PROCEDURES FOR TEACHERS Review the Table of Contents and look through the materials to obtain the background information needed to help students describe, analyze, interpret, and appreciate Islamic art. In Section VII, Activities, there are lesson plans designed for teachers. Each lesson has three parts: 1. Pre-museum classroom art activity 2. Museum activity 3. Post-museum classroom art activity Please remember that these materials were designed for maximum flexibility. Depending on the students and their grade level, ability level, interests, time availability, and resources, you may use all or parts of the suggested discussions and activities.


Islamic Art in Image and Object II. Introduction Exploring Objects with Students Objects from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum (GTM) collection have been selected especially for use in this Resource Guide for Educators to provide curriculum development for elementary through secondary school levels. Each binder of visual and written materials includes pre-museum visit lessons, utilizing Student Activity Guides, as well as postmuseum projects. Access to images and information about artworks chosen from the GTM collection will train students in creative interaction and thinking and the use of a variety of art materials. Museum visits will provide first-hand experience with the objects themselves and form a strong link with the museum as a vital resource for learning. This dual approach will provide greater expansion of access to the GTM collection and ongoing collaboration between the museum, the Queens College Division of Education, and the New York City public schools. It will serve to cultivate active interest and aesthetic appreciation at the same time as it develops skills and tools for critical and visual thinking. This project integrates the museum’s unique teaching collection with art education methodologies of Visual Thinking, a seminar conducted by Dr. Rikki Asher in the fall semester of 2006. Visits to the museum’s storage area, to view and discuss objects shown in Islamic Art in Image and Object, were the starting point for this project. Discussions with graduate students led by Dr. Amy Winter (Director and Curator of

the GTM) and Dr. Asher focused on the choice of charismatic objects, the significance and content of the works chosen, and the development of stimulating themes and ideas for curricula. Based on these choices and discussions, as well as the seminar’s concepts of “visual thinking,” graduate art education students designed lessons and activities for their final projects, in both visual and verbal form, for use during the exhibition’s duration as well as in conjunction with the GTM’s ongoing art education outreach. Each Resource Guide binder consists of various materials designed to aid teachers in lesson planning and classroom activities. It features Student Activities which encourage dynamic interaction with exhibition objects and content, and stimulate creative thinking and production of works of art. These materials are intended to facilitate student learning prior to and after visiting the museum as well as at the museum itself, engaging students while they move through the exhibition. Learning and behavioral objectives are carefully mapped out in all pre-museum, museum, and post-museum lessons. In addition to the Student Activities (located in Section VII) this Resource Guide also provides additional educator resources related to the exhibition Islamic Art in Image and Object. Background materials in Section II, Summary of Islamic Art, include an historical overview of Islam and Islamic art, a timeline, and a map of the regions


discussed. A Glossary, Teachers’ Bibliography, and Students’ Bibliography are just a few of the many other resources included. Of course, no Resource Guide to a visual art exhibition would be complete without Visual Materials, located in Section IV. Each image is accompanied by a list of suggested Discussion Questions and Making

Connections ideas designed to engage students in conversation about the particular work of art. These questions place the works of art in context and help students to create meaning by making connections between the artworks and their own experiences and building on their prior knowledge.


Visual Thinking Questioning Strategies HOW CAN STUDENTS: 1. Create meaning in their artwork by using symbols? 2. Translate thought into visual language through symbolism? 3. Make connections between form and function in a work of art? 4. Build understanding by placing a work of art in context? DISCUSSING WORKS OF ART: 1. What is going on in this work of art? What makes you say that? • What elements and principles of art can you identify and describe? (for example: line, color, shape, pattern, texture) • What materials, or media, were used to create this work of art? What about the work of art makes you say that? 2. When and where were the works created? How can you tell? How do you think life may have been different in this time and place compared to life today in the United States? 3. What were the beliefs, ideas, and customs of the culture(s) that created this artwork? How are they different or similar to your beliefs? Why do you think this is? 4. Who or what is portrayed in the artwork? What makes you say that? 5. What symbols are used? What is a symbol? What about these shapes, lines, or patterns makes you think that they are symbols? What do you think they may have meant to the people who created them? What do they mean to you? 6. What else would you like to know about this work of art? How could you find out this information?


Islamic Art in Image and Object III. Summary and History of Islam & Islamic Art What is Islam? Islam is a religion which began in the Arabian Peninsula in the early 7th Century by the prophet Muhammad. The essential creed of Islam is that there is one God, Allah, and that Muhammad (or Mohammed) is his prophet. The revelations of Allah received by Muhammad are recorded in the Koran (or Qu’ran), the basis of Islamic belief and the source of a complex legal and social system. Islam shares a number of beliefs with Judaism and Christianity and accepts the Books of Moses and the Gospels of Jesus as parts of the same scripture, expressed in the Koran. Inspired by Muhammad’s teachings, Islam spread throughout the Middle East and within 100 years Muslims conquered Byzantium (Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan), Persia, (Iran), as well as parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. As a result, Islamic art was created in many different geographic regions.


What is Islamic Art? “Islamic art is perhaps the most accessible manifestation of a complex civilization that often seems enigmatic to outsiders. Through its brilliant use of color and its superb balance between design and form, Islamic art creates an immediate visual impact. Its strong aesthetic appeal transcends distances in time and space, as well as differences in language, culture, and creed. Islamic art not only invites a closer look but also beckons the viewer to learn more... The term Islamic art may be confusing to some. It not only describes the art created specifically in the service of Islam, but it also characterizes secular art produced in lands under Islamic rule or influence, whatever the artist’s or the patron’s religious affiliation. The term suggests an art unified in style and purpose, and indeed there are certain common features that distinguish the arts of all Islamic lands. Although this is a highly dynamic art, which is often marked by strong regional characteristics as well as by significant influences from other cultures, it retains an overall coherence that is remarkable given its vast geographic and temporal boundaries. Of paramount concern to the development of this singular art is Islam itself, which fostered the creation of a distinctive visual culture with its own unique artistic language.”

Calligraphy “Calligraphy is the most important and pervasive element in Islamic art. It has always been considered the noblest form of art because of its association with the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, which is written in Arabic. This preoccupation with beautiful writing extended to all arts—including secular manuscripts; inscriptions on palaces; and those applied to metalwork, pottery, stone, glass, wood, and textiles—and to non-Arabic-speaking peoples within the Islamic commonwealth whose languages—such as Persian, Turkish, and Urdu—were written in the Arabic script.”

Pattern & Decoration “Another characteristic of Islamic art is a preference for covering surfaces with patterns composed of geometric or vegetal elements. Complex geometric designs, as well as intricate patterns of vegetal ornament (such as the arabesque), create the impression of unending repetition, which is believed by some to be an inducement to contemplate the infinite nature of God. This type of nonrepresentational decoration may have been developed to such a high degree in Islamic art because of the absence of figural imagery, at least within a religious context.”

Figural Imagery “Contrary to a popular misconception, however, figural imagery is an important aspect of Islamic art. Such images occur primarily in secular and especially courtly arts and appear in a wide variety of media and in most periods and places in which Islam flourished. It is important to note, nevertheless, that representational imagery is almost invariably restricted to a private context. Figurative art is excluded from the decoration of religious monuments. This absence may be attributed to an Islamic antipathy toward anything that might be mistaken for idols or idolatry, which are explicitly forbidden by the Qur’an.” – All above excerpts are from Islamic Art website, companion to the Islamic galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art URL: 6

Please Note: Headings and bolded terms added for this publication.

Animal Symbolism Birds: The ultimate spiritual unity with nature Pigeons: Carriers or messengers Falcons: Hunters Fish: Watch over a people with their eyes that never close; they can not be without water Horses: Swift carriers of different cultures and traditions to the Islamic world; used in war and for transportation; stand for power and freedom Sheep/Goats: Sacrificial animals; used for food, milk, and wool (weaving clothes, rugs) Locusts: Pests who destroy crops

Islamic Historical Timeline c.570-632 Muhammad’s life 610 Muhammad preaches reform, monotheism in Arabia 622 Muhammad's Hijrah 630 Muhammad enters Mecca in triumph 632-661 Caliphate emerges as an institution 636-651 Muslims conquer Syria, Persia and Egypt 641 Muslim conquest of Egypt 651 Publication of the Qu'ran, sacred book of Islam c.656 Split in Islam between Shiites and Sunnites 661-750 The Umayyads dynasty (Islamic kingdom) 661 Umayyads move Muslim capital from Medina to Damascus 700-1300 Height of Islamic commerce and industry 711 Muslims conquer Spain 717 Muslims unsuccessfully attack Constantinople 750-1258 The Abbasid dynasty (Islamic dynasty) 751 Battle at Talas River ends Islamic penetration of Central Asia 762 Abbasids move Muslim capital from Damascus to Baghdad 945 Buyids occupy Baghdad 950 Death of Al-Farabi 1000-1500 Muslim invasions of India 1037 Death of Avicenna 1055 Baghdad falls to the Seljuk Turks 7

1071 Seljuk Turks defeat Byzantines at Battle of Manzikert 1095-1099 First Crusade 1100-1500 Bantu, Arab, and Indian cultures blend in Swahili civilization along eastern coast 1120 Rubaiyat of Umar Khayyam 1187 Crusaders lose Jerusalem to Saladin 1206-1526 Turkish Sultanate at Delhi 1250 Poetry of Sadi 1258 Mongols destroy Baghdad and kill the last Abbasid Caliph 1281 Ottoman dynasty founded 1290-1320 Sultanate of Delhi 1291 Fall of last Christian outposts in the Holy Land 1300-1500 Mali empire in middle Niger region 1370 Persian poetry of Hafiz 1398 Sack of Delhi by Timur the Lame (Tamerlane) 1453 Ottomans take Constantinople; end of Hundred Years’ War 1453-1629 Ottoman and Safavid Empires 1493-1582 Expansion of Songhay 1500 Founding of Sikh religious sect 1501 Safavid dynasty of Iran established 1514 Ottomans defeat Safavids at Battle of Chaldiran 1516-1517 Ottomans take Syria, Egypt and Arabia 1520 Suleiman becomes ruler of the Ottoman empire 1526 Mughal dynasty established in India 1588-1629 Safavid shah Abbas revived the glory of ancient Persia. 1732 End of Safavid dynasty 1857 Direct British rule established in India; end of Mughal dynasty 1924 Turkish republic replaces Ottoman dynasty



Caspian Sea

Hungary Atlantic Ocean Aral Sea

Black Sea Constantinople


Turkey Bukhara


Greece Algeria Mediterranean Sea




Tripoli Cairo

Afghanistan Baghdad Isfahan


Jerusalem Tigres River

Pakistan Persia

Euphrates River





Egypt Medina



Nile River

Red Sea



Persian Gulf

India Arabian Sea

Islamic Art in Image and Object IV. Visual Materials The following are select images of works of art on view in the exhibition Islamic Art in Image and Object. They are from The Godwin-Ternbach Museum Collection of Islamic Art & Other Private Collections.

Plate 1 Pitcher with melon shaped body, beaked spout, decorated with standing female figure and dog and geometric motifs (Seljuk period, Iran, 12th c. AD), terracotta, 5 1/4” diameter x 8 ½” h. 57.71

Plate 2 Bowl decorated with blue and white trellis design, inhabited by birds, fish and plants; scalloped rim (Seljuk period, Iran, 12th – 13th c. AD), “rhagesware” terracotta, 8 ¾” diameter x 4” h. 58.32

Plate 3 Mosque Lamp (Copy of an early 14th c. lamp) French export, 19th c., glass with enamel and gold leaf, 11 ¾” h. 62.22

Plate 4 Footed cup with floral motifs (Persian, Iran, 17th – 19th c. AD), gold and polychrome enamel on silver, 4 ¼” h. 93.3.2

Plate 5 Prayer Rug, (Turkey, later 19th – early 20th c.), wool, 68” h x 48” w. 58.39

Plate 6 Tray with inscription, (Seljuk period, Iran, 12th-13th c. AD), bronze, diameter 24”. 57.48


Plate 1 Pitcher with melon shaped body, beaked spout, decorated with standing female figure and dog and geometric motifs (Seljuk period, Iran, 12th c. AD), terracotta, 5 1/4” diameter x 8 ½” h. 57.71 Discussion Questions: What is the form of this vessel? What do you think its function may have been? What about the form makes you say that? What medium was used to create this artwork? What types of decoration do you notice? How did the artist make the decoration emphasize the form of the pitcher? Can you find the female figure and dog? Look carefully at the female figure’s clothing. How does her costume help the viewer to understand the time when this artwork was created, the place where it was created, and the culture of the people that created it?


Plate 2 Bowl decorated with blue and white trellis design, inhabited by birds, fish and plants; scalloped rim (Seljuk period, Iran, 12th – 13th c. AD), “rhagesware” terracotta, 8 ¾” diameter x 4” h. 58.32 Discussion Questions: What patterns do you see on this bowl? Look at the decorations on the inside of the bowl. How are the images arranged around the center of the bowl? Making Connections: How is the form of this bowl similar to the pitcher (plate 1)? How is it different? How is the decoration similar and different? What else is similar about the context (Who? When? Where?) in which both the pitcher and bowl were created?

Above: side view; top view


Plate 3 Mosque Lamp (Copy of an early 14th c. lamp) French export, 19th c., glass with enamel and gold leaf, 11 ¾” h. 62.22

Discussion Questions: What do you think this work of art was used for? What makes you say that? Look carefully at the decorations on the surface of this object. Can you find any script, or writing? What different materials, or media, were used to create this lamp? If you could touch it, how do you think it would feel (texture, weight)? Why? Notice this lamp is a “copy” of an early 14th c. lamp. What do you think this means? Is this the original work of art?

Making Connections: Compare this lamp to lamps we use in the United States in 2007. What is different? What is the same? Why do you think this is? Use your imagination. What do you think a lamp made 500 years from now in the future might look like? What makes you say that?


Plate 4 Footed cup with floral motifs (Persian, Iran, 17th – 19th c. AD), gold and polychrome enamel on silver, 4 ¼” h. 93.3.2 Discussion Questions: What do you notice about the scale, or size, of this object? What do you think it was used for? Why? Compare the decorations on this cup to those on the bowl (plate 2). How are they similar? How are they different? Making Connections: Compare this cup to cups we use in the United States in 2007. What is different? What is similar?


Plate 5 Prayer Rug, (Turkey, later 19th – early 20th c.), wool, 68” h x 48” w. 58.39 Discussion Questions: What medium was used to create this object? What texture do you think it would have if you could touch it? Notice that this rug consists of a border and a central area. What types of shapes make up the decorations in the border? Is there any repetition? What kind of pattern is formed? What colors are used? How is the central area different than the border? Look at the large shapes in the center. Do you see any symmetry? Are there any patterns? Are any of the same colors used? How are they used differently? Which area on the rug stands out the most? Why? Is it different? How? Making Connections: This rug is a prayer rug and it had a religious function. According to the second Pillar of Islam, Muslims are required to pray at five set times during the day. (For more information on the Five Pillars of Islam, please see Section II, Summary of Islamic Art.) When a Muslim is unable to attend a mosque to pray, a prayer rug is necessary. It is often a Muslim’s most treasured possession. Its decorations are both an expression of religious beliefs as well as artistic creativity. This prayer rug includes several symbols that relate to the Islamic religion. The arched shape with symmetrical columns on either side in the center area of this rug is meant to resemble and symbolize a mihrab. The curving vines in the border symbolize cycles of life and immortality. The multiple patterns represent the multiplicity within the unity of all existence. Do you own a precious object? What about this object makes it precious to you? How does it make you feel and why? Does it have a function? It is religious or secular? (Please see Section V, Glossary, for definitions of all the bolded terms.) 15

Plate 6 Tray with inscription, (Seljuk period, Iran, 12th-13th c. AD), bronze, diameter 24�. 57.48 Discussion Questions: What medium was used to create this object? How can you tell? What do you think the function of this object was? What about the form of this object makes you say that? How do you think the design was created on this metal tray? What makes you say that?

Detail of central inscription

Making Connections: Compare this tray to your own experience with seeing or using trays in 2007. What is different about this tray compared to modern trays? What is similar?


Islamic Art in Image and Object V. Glossary Acrylic paint: Paints made from a chemical substance rather than a natural substance. Anionic: Having no representation of human or animal forms. Arabic: Of, belonging to, or derived from the language or literature of the Arabs. Arab: A member of a Semitic people inhabiting Arabia and other countries of the Middle East; a member of any Arabicspeaking people.

Emphasis: Indicating an area, image, or aspect of a painting that has special importance or significance within the whole. May be achieved through color, contrast, scale, etc. Enamel: Pre-fired glass that is ground to powder, applied to metal surfaces, and re-fired and fused to the surface. Figural Representation: A picture or illustration of human or animal forms.

Calligraphy: Artistic handwriting.

Foot: The base of a vessel that supports it, allowing it to stand upright. A foot is often a rounded form.

Contrast: An effect created by placing very different things (Ex: colors, textures, shades) next to one another.

Form: A three-dimensional shape. For example: a circle is a shape, a sphere is a form.

Cool colors: Blues, purples (blue-violet, violet), and some greens (forest greens).

Functional art: A work of art that also serves a purpose, or has a specific function. An example is a sculptural bowl or vessel used for serving food.

Decoration: The application of paint or drawings to a surface to make it more attractive. Detail: A small, individual element of the whole. Diameter: A straight line or measurement from one side of a circle to the other, passing through the center Earthenware: Pottery of baked or hardened clay, especially any of the coarse, opaque varieties.

Geometric Art: Art which incorporates geometric shapes, patterns, and designs. Geometric: Resembling or employing the simple rectangular or curved lines of figures used in geometry. Geometric Patterns: Simple forms, such as the circle and the square, are combined, copied, joined together and arranged in complex combinations. Geometry: The mathematical study of the angles, shapes, lines, etc. 17

Hexagon: A flat shape with six sides

Motif: A recurring subject, theme, idea, etc. in a literary, artistic, or musical work.

Incising: Cutting a design or picture into a smooth surface using a sharp pointed tool to produce a scratched line.

Muslim: A person who has surrendered to God, or follows the religions or laws of Islam.

Inlaying: Cutting grooves into the metal surface of an object and forcing gold, silver or copper into the grooves. Enamel is also used as an inlay.

Pattern: A regularly repeated arrangement of shapes, colors, lines, etc.

Islam: (Arabic for “surrender” or “submission.”) The religious faith based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad and taught by the Koran, the basic principle of which is absolute submission to a unique and personal god, Allah. Islamic art: Art produced in regions whose cultures practice the religion of Islam. Islamic religion forbids the representations of figures on religious artwork. Islamic artwork is very ornamental, often incorporating use of calligraphy, vegetal patterns, and geometric patterns. Line: A long narrow mark made on or in a surface. Lip: The rim of a vessel or bowl – can be a scalloped edge, rounded, flat, etc Mihrab: A niche in a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca. When praying at the five set times during the day according to the traditions of Islamic religion, the faithful must face in the direction of Mecca.

Point of view: The angle at which you are viewing a subject within a work of art, or a work of art itself. Pottery: Ceramic ware, especially earthenware and stoneware. The art or business of a potter; ceramics. Prophet: Someone who passes on the will of God. Radial Symmetry: When an image repeats or “radiates” out equally from a central point. Reflection Symmetry: A symmetrical arrangement in which an image is reversed, or “reflected” along an axis so that the new figure is a mirror image of the original. Religious Art: A work of art that has a particular religious affiliation or meaning. Repetition: When a certain shape, color, or line repeats more than once. Rhagesware: Pottery from the ancient Persian city of Rhages. Scale: The relative size of images or objects when compared to one another.

Monotheism: Belief in one god. Mosque: A religious place of worship for Muslims.

Scalloped edge: The lip of the vessel mimics the repeated form of a scallop. There are rounded, half-moon forms along the edge of the lip.


Sculpture: a three-dimensional work of art. A sculpture may be made out of a variety of materials such as clay, wood, metal, stone, or found objects. Secular Art: A work of art that does not have any religious affiliation or meaning. Seljuk Period: The Seljuk period in the history of art is from the 11th century (1000s) to the 13th century (1200s). Seljuk art had a strong presence in Iran and determined the future development of art in Iran for centuries. Semitic: Of, relating to, or constituting a subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic language group that includes Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic. Shape: The outline of a figure or form. May be geometric or organic (free-form). Sketch: A drawing that you do quickly and without a lot of details. Stoneware: A hard, opaque, vitrified ceramic ware. Symbol: A picture, person, image, or object that represents a particular quality, idea, organization.

Terracotta: A type of clay that is brownish-reddish in color after it is fired in a kiln. (Other colors may be painted on top to change its appearance if desired.) Three-dimensional: describes an object or work of art that is not flat. It possesses height, width, and depth. It can be viewed from multiple sides. Two-dimensional: describes an object or work of art such as a painting or a drawing that exists on a flat surface. It has length and width, but no depth. It is typically viewed from only one side. For example, you cannot view a painting from that back; it is meant to be viewed from one side only. Varnish: A clear liquid that is painted onto a surface to seal, protect, and sometimes give it a certain appearance (shiny, matte). Vegetal (or Arabesque) Patterns: Patterns formed by repeating naturalistic-looking flowers or blossoms. Vessel: A hollow receptacle used to contain or hold liquids. Ex: bowl, pitcher, cup, etc. Warm Colors: Reds, oranges, yellows, some greens (lime greens), and some purples (red-violet, magenta).

Symmetry: The presence of the same shape(s) and/or form(s) on both sides of a line or rotating equally around a point. (See radial symmetry and reflection symmetry.)


Islamic Art in Image and Object VI. Activities Each unit plan is presented as a series of three lessons: 1. Pre-museum In-Class activity and discussion 2. Museum activity and discussion 3. Post-museum In-Class activity and discussion

ANCIENT ISLAMIC METALWORK & ORNAMENTAL DESIGN, Grade Level: 3 …………..p.21-23 1. Drawing Four Ornamental Designs 2. “Eye Spy” Islamic Art 3. Create a Metal Plate ISLAMIC ART INSIDE OUT: SYMMETRY AND SYMBOLISM, Grade Level: 4 – 6 ……..…. p.24-30 1. Form and Function: “Form” an original three-dimensional vessel 2. Putting a “Spin” on Symmetry: Create a radial symmetry spinning top 3. Symbolism Inside and Out: Personalize a Symbolic Self-Portrait Vessel WHAT’S THE STORY? Grade Level: 5 – 7 ……………………………………………….p. 31-34 1. What is Islamic Art? How can symbols be used as metaphors of your life? 2. What’s the Story? 3. Functional Art: Bowl Design A STUDY OF MOTIF, TRADITION, & CRAFT IN TURKISH RUGS, Grade Level: 6 - 8….....p.35-40 1. Think About It 2. Using Symmetry to Re-create a Turkish Rug 3. Making a Loom and Weaving and a Thank You Postcard DISCOVERING THE CULTURE OF ISLAM THROUGH ISLAMIC ART, Grade Level: 6 – 8....p. 41-42 1. Identifying Islamic Art 2. Responding to Islamic Art 3. Creating an Heirloom Rug

As you look through these activities, use your imagination to expand on them! They have been designed for a range of ages, abilities, and interests. The grade levels listed are very flexible as the objectives of the lessons are easily adaptable for varying age levels. The visual materials are suggestions. Feel free to supplement with others from the exhibition or from other museums’ exhibitions.


ANCIENT ISLAMIC METALWORK AND ORNAMENTAL DESIGN Andrew C. Lacoff and Beth L. Rosenberg Grade Level: 3 Pre-Museum In-Class Activity: Drawing Four Ornamental Designs Time: 2 hours Objectives for Students • to describe the four basic components of Islamic ornament: calligraphy, vegetal patterns, geometric patterns and figural representation; • to recognize enameling, inlaying and incising; • to compare and contrast four details of Islamic metal objects. Visual Materials Images of Tray with inscription (Plate 6) and Footed cup with floral motifs (Plate 4) Do Now Ask students: What shapes do you see? Make a list of shapes you see in the classroom. Place a star next to any shape that is repeated. Class Discussion Separate the class into four groups. Each group has to examine one detailed image of an Islamic metal object and describe the shapes and colors they see. Each student will have a few minutes to write down their individual observations and then the group will compare and discuss. As a class, discuss each object. For each object ask: What do you see? What makes you say that? Do you see shapes on the object? Identify the shapes. Is there repetition? What choices did the artist make in applying the pattern? How does this change the piece? What kind of appearance does the object have? (shiny, dull, smooth, rough) What material do you think the objects are made of? What makes you say that? How do

you think the pattern was drawn on the object? (painted, carved) What makes you say that? Why do you think patterns were drawn on the objects? Ask students to support their ideas and the class will work together to construct meanings. Elicit the kinds of patterns found on the objects and the medium of the objects. Categorize on the blackboard the four basic elements of Islamic ornament: (1) calligraphy, (2) vegetal patterns, (3) geometric patterns and (4) figural representations. Distribute a hand-out on the history of Islamic art and metalwork. Read the sheet together and answer the following questions: Why did many Islamic artists create patterns without figures? Why did we look at detailed images of objects made of metal? Activities Have students divide their drawing paper into four equal parts. At the top of each section students will write an element of Islamic ornamental design: (1) calligraphy, (2) vegetal patterns, (3) geometric patterns and (4) figural representations. Students will make a simple sketch illustrating each element. Materials: Pencils, drawing paper, rulers.

Museum Activity: “Eye Spy” Islamic Art Time: 1 hour Objectives for Students • to observe a piece of Islamic art and define its characteristics; • to translate what they see by looking at a piece of Islamic art and drawing it; • to identify similar characteristics which Islamic artworks have in common. Visual Materials: Mosque Lamp (Plate 3) Class Discussion


Have the students form a circle around the Mosque Lamp. Ask students the following questions: What is the shape of this object? What do you think the things that are stuck to the sides were used for? Why do you think they would put handles on the sides? What are lamps used for? What is the difference between this lamp and a lamp in your home? Would this lamp be hung or would it sit on a table? What material is the object made from? How can you tell? How many different colors do you see? What kind of decorations do you see? Activities Find one work of Islamic art containing an ornamental design. Draw the object and design you see. Based on your observations, find a second piece of Islamic art that has a similar pattern or shape and draw it. Have students answer the following questions for both objects: What material is the object made from? How many different colors does the object have? What kind of decorations do you see? What is the size of the object? Have students consider what characteristics on the second work of art remind them of Islamic Art? Describe. Materials: Drawing paper, pencils, pens.

Post-Museum In-Class Activity: Create a Metal Plate Time: 3 hours Objectives for Students • to recall patterns on objects at the museum; • to understand what a pattern is and how one is made; • to create a metal plate by inscribing and painting. Visual Materials Image of Tray with inscription (Plate 6)

Do Now Ask student to think about the trip to the museum. Give students a few minutes to write down their answers to the following: What art object did you like the most? Why? What patterns were on the object? Class Discussion Tell the class that they are going to make their own Islamic style pattern. What shape would you want to put in your pattern? What should you do next to make your drawing look like a pattern? (Shapes should overlap and repeat.) Procedure and Activities Have students fold a sheet of drawing paper in half. Draw two different patterns, one on each half of the paper. (To make a pattern, draw one shape and repeat it. Try overlapping.) Students may use a template or a stencil. Have students choose whichever pattern they like best. Demonstrate and have students make their chosen pattern on a circular piece of paper using a template. Cover a plastic dinner plate with heavy duty aluminum foil, place the circular paper on tope, and trace the pattern with a stylus or dull pencil onto the foil. You may use masking tape to keep the drawing in place. When finished, lift up the paper and do any additional inscribing to bring out the details. Students will paint some of the details to bring out the design and simulate enamel. Materials Heavy duty aluminum foil, plastic dinner plates, mechanical pencils with erasers (or stylus, dull pencil), drawing paper, masking tape, scissors, pencils, erasers, rulers, acrylic paint, paint brushes. Learning Standards 1. Creating, Performing, & Participating in the Arts 2. Knowing & Using Arts Materials 3. Responding to & Analyzing Works of Art 4. Understanding the Cultural Dimensions & Contributions of the Arts


Post-Museum In-Class Activity: Create a Metal Plate Step-by-Step Visual Directions Step 1

Step 3

Step 2

Step 4


ISLAMIC ART INSIDE OUT: SYMMETRY AND SYMBOLISM Isabel Rosado, Kristina Seekamp, and Elizabeth Vineis Grade Level: 4 to 6, adaptable to grade 12 Pre-Museum Activity: Form and Function: “Form” an original three-dimensional vessel Time: Two to three 40-minute class periods Objectives for Students • Students will recognize three-dimensional art and compare and contrast with twodimensional works of art. • Students will be able to explain how threedimensional art forms can serve as functional pieces of art. • Students will construct their own threedimensional vessel. Visual Materials Image of Bowl (Plate 2) and map of Iran Do Now Ask students: How is a sculpture different from a drawing or painting? Where have you seen sculptures? Describe them. How can a sculpture be a work of art and have a function? Class Discussion Examine the Bowl and show map. Explain that this ceramic bowl is Islamic art and was created about 1,000 years ago in Iran. Look at the map of Iran as a class. What region of the world is Iran in? How was life different when this bowl was created than it is now? Look at the bowl. What do you notice about the form of the bowl? What do you think it was used for? Do you have a functional sculpture like this in your home? What is it used for? If you were to make your own functional vessel, what would you make? Procedure and Activities Place a filled balloon in an empty bowl so the mouthpiece is on the bottom. Cut Pariscraft™

into strips about two inches wide and five inches long. Fill a separate bowl with warm water. Dip Pariscraft™ in warm water. Using your thumb and pointer finger, gently smooth Pariscraft™ to fill in the holes and evenly distribute the plaster. Repeat, until the strips cover about halfway down the balloon. Make sure to overlap the strips. Repeat to create a second layer. Let dry. When Pariscraft™ is completely dry, pop the balloon. Next, cut cardstock or thin cardboard into strips measuring one inch by about six inches. Using a hot glue gun, form a ring shape by overlapping the left end over the right. Smooth Pariscraft™ strips over the entire surface of the ring. Let dry. When it is completely dry, hot glue the ring to the bottom of the vessel, creating a foot. If handles are desired, cut thin cardboard into narrow strips and form into the letter “c” using masking tape. Cover with Pariscraft™. When completely dry, attach using hot glue. (See visual instructions.) Materials Pariscraft™, cardboard paper towel tubes, cardstock/thin cardboard, scissors, masking tape, bowls filled with warm water, empty bowls, inflated balloons of various shapes/sizes, and a hot glue gun and sticks. Museum Activity: Putting a “Spin” on Symmetry: Radial symmetry Spinning Top Time: 1 hour Objectives for Students • Students will be able to identify the use of radial symmetry and repetition in decorations on Islamic art. • Students will create an original radial symmetry designs and spinning tops. Visual Materials: Bowl (Plate 2) Do Now Look closely at the decoration on the Islamic vessels in the exhibition. Islamic religion forbids


including people in artwork. Instead, what do you see? Class Discussion Look at the decorations on the inside of the Bowl. What different animals can students recognize? Is there any repetition? Explain that this design is an example of radial symmetry. We see examples of radial symmetry every day. What other examples can you name? Procedure and Activities Have students choose one shape, line, or animal from a different vessel in the exhibition and draw it on a sheet of drawing paper. Carefully cut out the shape to make a stencil. Distribute radial symmetry templates, have students select one, and trace their stencil once in each section of the template. Once finished, add more repeating shapes and lines. Add color. Make the design spin! Cut the circular template out and glue it to the bottom side of a small paper plate. Poke a hole through the center and insert a dowel. Attach on the underside with masking tape and spin! Materials Drawing paper with radial symmetry template, pencils, scissors, small paper plate, glue, 5” dowel (one end sharpened), and masking tape. Post-Museum In-Class Activity: Symbolism Inside and Out: Personalize a Symbolic Self-Portrait Vessel Time: Three to four 40-minute class periods Objectives for Students • Students will be able to identify symbols used in Islamic art and their meanings • Students will be able to design symbols that represent themselves • Students will design and paint their own radial symmetry symbolic design on their functional vessels

Visual Materials Image of Bowl (Plate 2) and handout with additional Islamic vessels with symbolic elements Do Now Ask students: What did you see at the Museum? Discuss the design, colors, shapes, and significance of your favorite art object. Class Discussion What is a symbol? What type of symbols can you find in Islamic art? Show transparencies of different Islamic Art pieces and discuss. Are the symbols abstract or realistic? What do you think the abstract symbols mean? What makes you say that? (The circle = eternity, the triangle = harmony, the square = physical experience, the hexagon = heaven, the star = the spread of Islam from one point outward). If they are realistic (ex: fish or bird) what do they mean? (See Animal Symbolism in Section III.) Procedure and Activities Have students imagine they are vessels. How could they use symbolism to turn the vessels created in the Pre-Museum Activity into a type of self-portrait? Discuss point of view. Distribute vessels from previous activity and have students draw one side and one top view of their vessel. Add in the surface decorations they will apply on the inside and outside. Carefully consider form and function, repetition and symmetry. Will they use similar designs all over or different designs? Why? When designing the inside, have students follow one of the radial symmetry templates. Use a strip of tag board as a flexible ruler to draw lines, dividing the inside of the vessel into a radial symmetry template. Translate the remaining design. Students may use a stencil. Paint the design using acrylic paints and paint markers for small details. Once dry, apply a sealer if desired. Have students present their self-portrait vessels to the class and describe the symbols they used and their meanings. (See visual instructions/hand out.) Learning Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4


Pre-Museum In-Class Activity: Form and F unction: “Form” an original three-dimensional vessel Visual Directions

Form the main vessel on top of a balloon.

Form the “foot” for the vessel with a strip of thin cardboard or tag board as seen below and cover with PariscraftTM.





Hot glue the foot to the bottom of the main vessel.


Radial Symmetry Templates


Post-Museum In-Class Activity: Symbolic Self-Portrait Vessels Brainstorming Ideas Think about what makes you unique: ● Personality ● Interests

● Culture

● Experiences

If you had to choose an animal to represent you, what would it be? Why? What colors represent you? Why? Think about the outside and inside of your vessel. Imagine you are a vessel. What would you use to represent the “outside” you? What about the “inside” you? Are they different? How?

Sketch two symbols (one “outside” & one “inside”) that represent YOU!


We show certain things about us on the “outside” for everyone else to see. For example: clothes you wear what you say & how you act towards others the music you listen to… What else?

• • •

There are many things that are not so visible on the “outside” for everyone to see.


My symbol:

My symbol:

For example: • memories • fears • your dreams... What else can you think of?


Post-Museum In-Class Activity: Symbolic Self-Portrait Vessels Step-by-StepVisual Directions

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3 Step 1: Plan your design. Look at your vessel from two points of view, or angles. Sketch its shape from above and from a side view. Add your designs. Include at least 2 symbols and make the inside show radial symmetry. Step 2: Use a narrow strip of tag board as a flexible ruler to draw lines dividing the inside of your vessel into a series of equal sections. If desired, create a custom lip. Draw a line along the top edge and cut with scissors. Step 3: Sketch your design on your vessel. Create a stencil for any repeating shapes to make it quicker and easier. Choose a color palette. Use acrylic paints for large areas and paint markers for small details. Apply a clear varnish to protect and add shine, if desired. Share your vessel with the class and discuss how it represents you.


Additional visuals examples for Post-Museum In-Class Activity



Egypt, twelfth century Earthenware, overglaze luster painted

Iraq, ninth century Earthenware, overglaze polychrome luster

The Madina Collection of Islamic Art Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collection, gift of Joan Palevsky Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Tile Greater Iran, fifteen century Fritware, glazed to shape and assembled as mosaic The Madina Collection of Islamic Art, gift of Camilla Chandler Frost Los Angeles County Museum of Art


WHAT’S THE STORY? How does Islamic Art Use Symbols, Shapes, and Patterns as Metaphors to Create Functional Works of Art? Mike Kerr, Erica Croce, and Chris Lowens Grade Level: 5 to 7

Activity Students will brainstorm words that best describe them. Next the students will be given a handout. The handout will have a drawing of a ceramic bowl on it. Students will create their own symbols that best represent them and draw them on the bowl. Materials: Paper, pencils, colored pencils.

Pre-Museum In-Class Activity: What is Islamic Art? How can symbols be used as metaphors of your life?

Follow up activities Students will critique their work and prepare for their museum trip.

Time: One to two 40-minute class periods

Museum Activity: What’s the Story?

Objectives for Students • Students will be able to identify Islamic culture. • Students will learn about Islamic artwork and pottery. • Students will observe important vocabulary that pertains to Islamic culture/art. • Students will understand the significance of symbols. • Students will design symbols that represent themselves.

Time: 1 hour Objectives for Students • Write an original story and create a drawing that connects to the artwork they see; • Develop personal perceptions of Islamic artwork; • Identify aspects of the Islamic culture and its artwork; • Develop ability to use imagination to interpret artwork.

Visual Materials: Bowl (Plate 2) Visual Materials: Bowl (Plate 2) Do Now Write the word “Islam” on the board. Have the class brainstorm everything they know about Islam. Introduce the religion, the culture, and the art. Class Discussion What do you notice about this work of art? Can anyone tell the class what this is a picture of? What makes you say that? What was the primary function of this work of art? What makes you say that? Where do you think we can find a work of art like this? What do you notice? What do you think the fish and birds represent? What makes you say that? Do you notice anything else of interest?

Discussion Begin with Bowl: What do you think is going on in this artwork? What do you notice? What makes you say this? Is there repetition of pattern, color, or line? What do you notice about the shape of the piece? What do you think it means? Move on to personal: Do any of you have pets or would like one? What do these animals (birds, fish) represent to you? Why do you say this? Do you think they are important? Islamic meanings: What is a symbol? How does your view of the animal differ from the actual meaning? How it is the same? “What’s the story?”: Can you come up with a story to go along with the images you see? What is taking place? Who does it involve? Where does it 31

take place? When did this happen? Why did it happen? Procedure Begin with discussion of Islamic bowl and animal meanings. Then have students write a story and create a drawing with the ‘What’s the story?’ worksheet. Activities Using the ‘What’s the story?’ worksheet, markers, and pencils students will create a story related to the design details of the Islamic bowl. This story must include: a plot, characters with meanings from the Islamic culture, and a drawing using three or more elements of design. Materials: markers, pencil, paper and worksheet.

Post Museum In-Class Activity: Functional Art: Bowl Design Time: Five 40-minute class periods Objectives for Students • Students will be able to identify different aspects of Islamic bowl design; • Students will be able to recognize, design and draw shapes patterns and symbols; • Students will be able to appreciate Islamic bowls and understand the complexity of creating a bowl design and decoration. Visual Materials: Bowl (Plate 2)

own life, culture, customs, family members or experiences. Referring back to the Islamic design are there similarities or differences in the shapes symbols and letters that are significant in their lives. Procedures and Activities Demonstrate simple drawing techniques of bowls. Have students fold paper in four parts and sketch four preliminary bowls, experimenting with different shapes and designs. The bowls can have Islamic or individual meaningful decoration. Students will choose one of their four sketches for a final drawing after an informal class viewing of the preliminary designs. Students will then create a finished drawing of their bowl on a full sheet of new paper. Materials: Paper, pencils, colored pencils. Follow-up Activities • Students may create a background drawing for bowl. • Students may construct a three-dimensional bowl out of clay, paper mache, or a plastic bottle with collage. • Students may assemble a book based on their bowl designs and stories. Learning Standards 1. Creating and participating in the arts. 2. Knowing and using arts materials. 3. Responding to and analyzing works of art. 4. Understanding the cultural dimensions and contributions of the arts.

Do Now Have an image of the Bowl on view at the museum on display. Ask students what they notice about the work and what makes them say this. Class Discussion Is there any theme or pattern in the design? What are they? Describe what you notice and point to examples. What in the work makes you say that? Ask students if they have any personal stories of how bowls are part of their 32


WHAT’S THE STORY? Who: _____________________________________________ What: ____________________________________________ When: ____________________________________________ Where: ___________________________________________ Why: _____________________________________________ Title: __________________________________


A STUDY OF MOTIF, TRADITION, AND CRAFT IN TURKISH RUGS Heather Cullinan and Nicole Schorr Grade Level: 6 to 8 Pre-Museum In-Class Activity: Think About It Time: One 40-minute class period Objectives for Students • to interpret a rug for elemental purposes, tradition purposes, and style. • to appreciate, respect and understand Turkish culture and prayer rugs. • to understand the art elements of line, color, texture, shape, and pattern. Visual and Audio Materials Slide of Prayer Rug (Plate 5) for either an overheard projector or IPTV Do Now Have students write in their journals their reflections and answers to the following questions: When and where do you think this rug was made? What tools do think were used? What could it have been used for? What colors do you see? How do you think the colors were made? Class Discussion Using open-ended questions, direct the class in a discussion about the answers that the students wrote down individually. Ask students if before our discussion would they have believed that a rug is considered a piece of artwork? Why or why not? Make a list on oak tag or on a chalkboard of their answers and keep displayed to be used later in the PostMuseum In-Class Activity. Procedure and Activities The “Do Now” and class discussion aspect of this lesson act as an introduction to the

subject matter that will be viewed on the museum visit. Next the students will review and demonstrate the steps to dyeing your own yarn at home, which are on a recipe card. This is used for educational purposes and to get the students excitement levels up for the trip to the museum. Materials Journal books, pencils, oak tag, marker, recipe cards, dyeing materials (yarn, beets and water, a pot, a hot-plate for demonstrating the dyeing process).

Museum Activity: Using Symmetry to Re-create a Turkish Rug Time: Approximately 1 hour Objectives for Students • to understand the concepts of symmetry, pattern, and design. • to identify and re-create a symmetrical pattern on a grid, while viewing rug samples at the museum. • to apply symmetrical knowledge when creating their own sketches of floral motifs. Visual and Audio Materials Prayer Rug (Plate 5) and other Islamic Art on display at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum Museum Discussion Observe some of the pottery and vessels before ending up at the prayer rug. This will demonstrate to them that certain patterns and designs are repeated in Islamic Art regardless of the medium used. Allow them to absorb the works, and then initiate the conversation with: what do you see? What type of art is it? Does it remind you of anything you have seen before? What makes you say that?


What patterns do you see? Are they balanced? How are these artworks different from the ones we viewed in class? Discuss symmetry, pattern, and design. Procedure The students will choose a part of a rug or sculpture and using a pre-made grid they will create a reproduction making sure to stay symmetrical and use a central image. Activities Students will use a pencil to create a pattern or design seen in the exhibit using symmetry. Students are to use a central image and utilize the “counting the boxes system” to keep the work balanced and symmetrical. They are then to use the other grid on the opposite page and are encouraged to keep symmetry in mind while creating a floral motif.

Class Discussion Referring to their symmetrical grid drawings, ask students to think about how they could now create a rug from that floral motif using yarn? What color choices would be made? Would you use a basic color scheme similar to the ones that the Turkish culture used in their rugs? Procedure and Activities Students will use their floral motif grid drawings from the museum for a reference to create their own mini rug. They will learn how to create a loom using a heavy piece of cardboard and making notches in it. The handout and visual demonstration will keep them at the correct steps. Using their loom and symmetrical design, they will weave the pattern they created using the yarn they dyed at home. Different types of knots and techniques will be taught.

Materials Handout with grids, pencils

Materials Pencil, Dyed Yarn, Cardboard, Scissors, Dull plastic Needles

Post-Museum In-Class Activity: Making a Loom and Weaving- Thank You Postcard

Learning Standards 1. Creating, Performing, & Participating in the Arts 2. Knowing & Using Arts Materials 3. Responding to & Analyzing Works of Art 4. Understanding the Cultural Dimensions & Contributions of the Arts

Time: Six 40-minute class periods Objectives for Students • to recall concepts of symmetry, rug making, and subject matter from the museum visit. • to design a loom in order to weave the symmetrical floral motifs they designed in the museum visit. • to appreciate Turkish culture and the craft of rug weaving. Visual Materials Beginning Weaving Handout, image of Prayer Rug (Plate 5)



Using this grid, create a general copy of the Turkish rug you have just examined. Count the boxes or fold the gird in half to help create an even, symmetrical design.




DISCOVERING THE CULTURE OF ISLAM THROUGH ISLAMIC ART Sheila Ambrosio, Noemi Charlemagne, and Lisa Rudolph Grade Level: 6 to 8 Pre-Museum In-Class Activity: Identifying Islamic Art Time : One 40-minute class period Objectives for Students • to be able to describe styles and conventions of Islamic art • to think critically about how Islamic art depicts the history and culture of Islam • to identify Islamic characteristics found in three specific pieces from the Godwin-Ternbach collection Visual Materials Slides/photos of the following objects: Mosque Lamp (Plate 3), Prayer Rug (Plate 5), and Bowl (Plate 2) Class Discussion / Procedure Introduce a brief history of Islamic Art and its characteristics. Review vocabulary while discussing handouts or slides. Since early times, Islamic art has reflected a balanced, harmonious world view and has developed a unique character utilizing a number of primary forms: geometry, calligraphy, organic/figural and medallions, which are often interwoven. Elicit responses from students about what they see. Ask questions to get students more involved with the viewing process. What does this art tell us about the people who created it? What purpose do you think these pieces had? Are they functional art? Review and discuss the following characteristics found in Islamic art: • The repetition of geometric designs

represents the infinite nature of god. • Calligraphy is considered the highest form of art since it is the language of the Koran. • Organic (flowers & plants) / figural (people & animals) represent images found in nature created by god. • Medallion designs are often the focal point or central motif Islamic art can be divided into two categories: religious and secular. Muslims believe that the creation of living things is the work of god, so they forbid portraying people and animals in their religious art. Secular objects are those found in the home. Ask students, can you think of any art objects found in your home or place of worship? What do these objects reflect about your culture? Show students images of visual materials. Have them write down the characteristics of each object. Instruct students to write their names and create a simple design using the elements of Islamic art they have learned. Materials: handout, pencils.

Museum Activity: Responding to Islamic Art Time: 1 hour Objectives for Students • to compare and contrast pieces of Islamic art discussed in prior lesson • to explore the exhibition further in search of Islamic characteristics • to utilize the exhibition in order to draw examples of geometry, calligraphy, organic/figural, and medallion forms Visual Materials Mosque Lamp (Plate 3), Prayer Rug (Plate 5), and Bowl (Plate 2) 41

Class Discussion Observe the Mosque Lamp. Review the conventions of Islamic art. Why is calligraphy such an important form of art in decorating mosques? How was it used and what does the calligraphy represent? Next, view the Prayer Rug. Observe carefully. Ask students the significance of this piece in relation to Islam. What is a prayer rug and how is it different from an ordinary rug? How are rugs made (what equipment and materials is needed)? Finally, observe the Bowl and ask what characteristics of Islamic art are present in the piece? How do Muslims feel about the representation of figures in art? What similarities do these three examples of Islamic art share? What are some differences? Procedure Once students have an understanding of each characteristic, explore the rest of the exhibition in search of examples. Provide a paper divided into four sections: Geometry, Calligraphy, Organic/Figural and Medallion to each student. Students will find examples of the characteristics of Islamic art and draw in the appropriate space. Materials: Pencils, erasers, paper Post-Museum In-class Activity: Creating an Heirloom Rug Time: Five 40-minute class periods Objectives for Students • to observe, recognize and interpret meanings of Islamic art through its characteristics/primary forms • to produce an heirloom rug that integrates and reflects students personal understanding of the primary forms. • apply the four patterns/motifs, that will incorporate personal or Islamic designs

Visual Materials Slides/photos of the following objects: Mosque Lamp (Plate 3), Prayer Rug (Plate 5), and Bowl (Plate 2) Class Discussion How are cultural beliefs conveyed as visual images? Ask students if there is a favorite object/rug in their home or community that holds special meaning? Describe the objects and their significance. Are their designs on it? What do they represent? What kinds of objects become heirlooms and why? Procedure Using a compass, demonstrate how to make a geometric star. Show how to creating a repeating design using a template or tracing paper. Utilizing four designs (whether personal or Islamic in style), create patterns/motifs to create a personal heirloom rug. Sketch a layout for the rug design in pencil and include one example of each of the primary forms found in Islamic art. Be sure to include a central motif and a border. Materials 12x18 paper, pencil, eraser, ruler, compass, tracing paper/light table, tempera paints, and brushes Learning Standards 1. Creating, performing, and participating in the arts. 2. Knowing and using art materials 3. Responding to and analyzing works of art 4. Understanding the cultural dimensions and contributions of the arts


Islamic Art in Image and Object VII. Additional Resources TEACHER BIBLIOGRAPHY Atasoy, Nurhan, and Julian Raby. Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey. London: Alexandria Press, 1989. Atil, Esin, ed. Turkish Art. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press and New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1980. Atil, Esin, W. Thomas Chase and Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork from the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art, 1985. Ayoub, Abderrahman, Jamila Binous, Abderrazak Gragueb, Ali Mtimet, Hedi Slim. Umm El Madayan: An Islamic City Through the Ages. Translated by Kathleen Leverich. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994. Boukobza, Andre. La Poterie Marocaine. Paris: Jean-Pierre Taillandier, Sochepress, 1987 (in French only, but where geometric design on pottery is concerned, the pictures say it all.) Brend, Barbara. Islamic Art. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991. Burckhardt, Titus. Sacred Art in East and West: Its Principles and Methods. Translated by Lord Northbourne. Bedfont, Middlesex, UK: Perennial Books Ltd., 1967. Critchlow, Keith. Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach. New York: Schocken Books, 1976.

Gluck, Jay, and Sumi Hiramoto Gluck. A Survey of Persian Handicraft. Tehran: Bank Melli Iran, 1977. Grube, Ernst J. Islamic Pottery of the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century in the Keir Collection. London: Faber and Faber, 1976. Hedgecoe, John, and Salma Samar Damluji. Zillij: The Art of Moroccan Ceramics. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing Limited, 1992. Khatibi, Abdelkebir, and Mohammed Sijelmassi. The Splendour of Islamic Calligraphy. Translated by James Hughes. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1977. Komaroff, Linda. Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum: the Historical Context. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. Lings, Martin. The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1976. Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Islamic Art and Spirituality. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1987. Necipoglu, Gulru. The Topkapi Scroll: Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture. Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1995. Papadopoulo, Alexandre. Islam and Muslim Art. Translated by Robert Erich Wolf. New 43

York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1979.


Petsopoulos, Yanni, ed. Tulips, Arabesques and Turbans: Decorative Arts from the Ottoman Empire. New York: Abbeville Press, 1982.

Islam (DK Eyewitness Books). DK Publishing, 2005.

Rogers, Clive, ed. Early Islamic Textiles. Brighton: Rogers & Podmore, 1983. Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur, Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.d.

Ganeri, Anita, Rachael Phillips, and Carole Gray. Islam Stories (Storyteller). 2003. Kahn, Rukhsana and Patty Gallinger. Muslim Child: Understanding Islam through Stories and Poems. 2002. Lemu, B. Aisha. Animals in Islam. 1993.

Akar, Azade. Authentic Turkish Designs. New York: Dover Publications, 1992.

Stanley, Diane. Saladin, Noble Prince of Islam. 2002.

D'Avennes, Prisse, ed. Arabic Art in Color. New York: Dover Publications, 1978.

Strauss-Art, Suzanne. The Story of Islam. 2005. ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTERS Islamic Arts and Architecture Organization (IAAO)

WEBSITES (all URLS begin with “http://”) hd_orna,htm


Islamic Art in Image and Object VIII. Evaluation Please take a few minutes to fill out this evaluation form. Your comments are important to us. Thank You! Dr. Rikki Asher, Director, Art Education Queens College, City University of New York 65-30 Kissena Boulevard Flushing, NY 11367-1597 Name __________________________________________________________________ School _________________________________________________________________ Subject and Grade level you teach ___________________________________________ 1. On a scale from 1 to 5 (1=least, 5=most) please indicate the usefulness of the following components of this resource manual: TOPIC 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction: Visual Thinking “Questioning Strategies”

COMMENTS (if desired)

Summary & History of Islam & Islamic Art Visual Materials “Discussion Questions” Visual Materials “Making Connections” Glossary Activities: Pre-Museum Activities: Museum Activities: Post-Museum Additional Resources EVALUATION CONTINUES ON REVERSE…


2. What activities and discussion topics created the greatest response among students? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 3. What sections were most useful to your curriculum? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 4. Is the format and organization of materials clear and easy to use? Are any parts confusing? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 5. What suggestions would you like to make to improve these materials? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your time, it is greatly appreciated!


Profile for Godwin Ternbach Museum

Education Guide - The Grandeur of Islamic Art in Image and Object exhibition  

Education Guide - The Grandeur of Islamic Art in Image and Object exhibition