The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced recently that it had acquired “the remarkable Madina Collection of Islamic art. The collection contains works of various media dating from the late 7th through 19th centuries from the vast areas that comprise the Islamic world, from Southern Spain to Central Asia” (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). While the museum already had quite an extensive collection of Islamic art, this particular exhibit truly adds the collections as a whole.
The Madina Collection of Islamic Art
The first item to be examined is a bowl from the 14th century, from either Egypt or Syria (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). It is ceramic, fritware and is underglazed-painted (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). It is 10 and inches in diameter. The design is very symmetrical and incredibly colorful in its green and cream along with black lines. Without knowing what the design symbolizes one could imagine that it is very much an Islamic design, and appears to be religious or spiritual in content. There is a Mandela presence to the design, with very strong lines and striking elements.Order now
The next piece to be examined is cup from the 13th century, from Greater Iran. This cup is “Silver, gilded, chased and punched” and measures “3 7/8 x 4 5/8 in. (9.84 x 11.75 cm)” (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). It is a relatively simple cup, almost seemingly like a cup with very little, if any, base. It is very rounded and almost appears as though it is to be only held, and never set down. There is a design around the rim of the cup. The design is a repetitive design and appears to be an almost universal type design that could be attributed to any culture. It is something of a floral, or leaf design and looks to be gold rather than silver as is the rest of the cup. It is a very balanced and beautifully simple piece.
There is a finial from the 14th century Northern Iran, perhaps from Mazanderan (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). This piece is intricately carved from wood and possesses traces of paint (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). It measures 14 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter at its widest point. It is wide at its base and tapers off, not completely to a point, at the top. It is a very solid as well as very patterned piece of art, or architecture. Like the previous items discussed or examined, it seems to have a very symmetrical feel to it, as there is not necessarily a picture to be seen, but a repetitive element that is seen throughout the piece, or all around the piece in this case. The carving appears to be open carving in that there are holes in the finial where there is no wood as part of the carved out design.
The last piece to be discussed or examined is the base of a candlestand. This piece from Syria or Egypt during the 13th century and is made from bass, with inlaid silver and gold (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005). It measures 2 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. this piece appears to have three sides along with three feet. Though not all sides are shown online, it can be assumed that all three sides are the same, especially considering how the previous works discussed seem to present a repetitive pattern. The side seen shows intricate details of three birds flying through design elements, around a circular centerpiece. The three legs are somewhat scrolled, and the entire piece is very flowing and organic in design, yet also possesses a somewhat sharp geometrical position in its triangular shape.
The pieces presented and examined come from the 13th or 14th century and are all pieces that are on display in the museum. Some of the pieces presented in the museum’s website about the exhibit are not currently on exhibit and those chosen for discussion were partly chosen because they are for the public to view at present. The information presented on these items is presented only as suggestive to assist the student with the further development of their own analysis of this, or another, exhibit in California.