15. To Have and to Hold: Museums and Islam in Western Europe
Virginie Rey [+]
University of California, Los Angeles
Archaeology has always been an important component in the display of Islamic material culture. The majority of Islamic artworks in historical collections are from archaeological contexts, and the expanding field of Islamic archaeology is rapidly altering our understanding of Islamic material culture. This paper will provide a critical appraisal of the use of archaeology in displays of Islamic art across Europe, and look at the potential for archaeological objects and concepts to enhance Islamic displays in the future. In 2015, through a generous grant from the Peter Kirk Memorial Fund, I was able to travel across Europe and assess the use of archaeological objects and concepts in a number of museum collections. This research provided important case studies in the successful display of Islamic archaeology, and the benefits of including selective archaeological concepts in the broader display of Islamic material culture.