Thursday, May 21

Building the Moroccan Court

"In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights. These craftsmen—the upholders of rare artisanal methods that stretch back centuries—arrived at the Museum from Fez in December and began their monumental task. Their project was to create a medieval Islamic courtyard within the Met's new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, opening on November 1 2011. ..."
Building History: The Making of the Met's New Moroccan Court
NY Times: History’s Hands
YouTube: Building the Moroccan Court