Combining art historical and scientific analyses, this installation examines key examples of Harvard’s Islamic and pre-Islamic metalwork from the 4th through the 14th centuries. Essential to understanding Islamic metalwork is an appreciation of the ways in which metalworkers in the Islamic era adapted the technological and stylistic legacies of Roman, Byzantine, and Sasanian precursors. In Beyond the Surface, photomicrographs and X-radiographs illuminate the composition of the objects on display, two major manufacturing technologies (casting and sheet metalworking), and the techniques used for decoration. Curated by Katherine Eremin, Patricia Cornwell Conservation Scientist, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums; and Ulrike al-Khamis, independent scholar.
This installation is made possible by the Islamic and Later Indian Art Exhibition Fund.