This exhibition honors the art of reciting poetry and prayer and its visual manifestation in the manuscript book. Cornerstones of Muslim societies, poetry and prayer were transmitted from one generation to the next in oral and in written forms. The sacred, devotional, and non-religious manuscripts presented here were created across the breadth of the Islamic world and date from the 9th through the 19th century. They bear witness to remarkable achievements in literature and the arts of the book, such as calligraphy, illumination, and illustration.
Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum coincides with the initiative to catalogue and make high-resolution digital surrogates of all Islamic manuscripts and single pages preserved at the Walters Art Museum, a project generously funded by a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.