Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World
IntroductioncalligraphyAbstract DesignArts of the BookThe Art of the Objectpage 1

Three–dimensional works of art created in the Islamic world were largely intended for use in daily activities, such as drinking and eating, while others were reserved to mark special social or religious occasions. Many were portable.

Whether working in glass, metal, stone, wood, cloth, or clay, artists skillfully transformed ordinary objects into elaborate works of art. As one of the main vehicles for artistic expression, these carefully crafted objects played a central role in the social, economic, and material life of the peoples of the Islamic world and provided a constant source of visual and intellectual pleasure and gratification.

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