Rustam Shoots Asfandiyar

Rustam Shoots Asfandiyar, from the Ann Arbor Shahnama
Iraq, Baghdad, Persian school, circa 1460–66
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold leaf on paper
Museum Purchase, 1963/1.62

UMMA Collections

Middle Eastern Art

UMMA’s collection of Middle Eastern art consists of works from Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Africa, and Turkey, among other regions, dating from as early as 1000 BCE to the 21st century. The collection contains works in various media, including ceramic vessels and tiles, calligraphy, textiles, and metalwork and features many works of fritware—a type of ceramic made from quartz and white clay that imitates Chinese porcelain. Highlights of UMMA’s Middle Eastern collection include an extraordinary pair of 13th-century Turkish bronze candlestick holders, a stunning 17th–18th-century fritware underglaze blue-and-white platter from Iran, and a 12th–13th-century Syrian stone cenotaph. Perhaps the most important Islamic work in the collection is a complete 15th-century manuscript of the Shahnama (The Book of Kings), now known as the Ann Arbor Shahnama, while the most recent addition to the collection is a triptych by the contemporary Syrian calligrapher, Khaled al’Saa’i (b. 1970) entitled Resurrection.

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