:: Volume 4, Issue 17 (12-2015) ::
کیمیای هنر 2015, 4(17): 4-14 Back to browse issues page
“Contesting the Conceptual Categories ‘Islamic Civilization, Art or Masterpiece: A Reflection on the Problem”
Valerie Gonzalez *
Abstract:   (9340 Views)

Together with a few recent publications a number of the online Journal of Art Historiography (June 6, 2012) dedicated to “Islamic Art Historiography” offers a glimpse at the debates that since roughly a decade stir up Islamic art studies as they are practiced in the West. These debates concern the conceptual framework used to both investigate and show in public institutions the material dealt with in this field of research, traditionally designated by the attributive adjective “Islamic”. Many consider the latter a misnomer. The underlying objection is that any cultural instance generically labeled with this adjective constitutes a fallacious category that does not reflect much more complex realities. Yet, the contested word remains widely used in spite of the invention of an alternative, the term “Islamicate”. This paper examines this phenomenon of epistemological agitation symptomatic of the rather newly constructed field of Islamic art history. The analysis of the 10th century epigraphic wares produced under the patronage of the Iranian dynasty of the Samanids will support the argumentation.

Keywords: Islamic culture, art, art history, epistemology, methodology, concepts of Islamic art studies
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2016/06/18 | Accepted: 2016/06/18

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Volume 4, Issue 17 (12-2015) Back to browse issues page