Iranian art and architecture of the Parthian, Sassanian and Islamic periods, with particular emphasis on regional characteristics in the period. Different themes are explored each time the course is offered. In the past, these have been Ilkhanid and Timurid painting, the city of Isfahan, metropolitan and provincial architecture in the fourteenth century.
Section 401 - SEM
Renata Holod, Professor, History of Art Department and Curator, PENN Museum co-taught with Yael Rice, Assistant Curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art Toward a ‘Biography’ of a Manuscript: A Project in the History of the Book A copy of the Qur’an (NEP 27) was purchased by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in 1927. The copy originally was copied and gilded by the scribe (al- kātib) Mahmūd ibn Husayn al- Kirmānī with date 559 A.H./1164 C.E. Manuscripts that have survived from northwestern Iran of the mid-12th century are very rare, and this one is an important example of Seljuk period book production with the illumination continuing from models established in late Abbasid examples. It is also an interesting case of book ‘restoration’ that must be closely examined as it points to a complex history of usage. Between the time of its copying and its donation as waqf by Amīr Ahmad Jāwīsh (d. 1786) to the al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, the manuscript underwent many changes and vicissitudes. A brief examination reveals that there would have been several interventions to the integrity of the original. Firstly, there is an interlinear commentary in red that may not be contemporary with the copying of the text. Second, the green (verdigris) framing of the text (and the later cause of its internal damage) seems to be yet another stage in the life of the manuscript. At some moment, many of the headings and sub-headings received further enhancement, or outright reconfiguration. For example, the right hand page of the incipit frame is actually the result of a cutting and gluing process recombining elements, and filling in with imitations of the original illumination. Even a cursory survey shows that many folios bear major repairs, patches and replacements. Yet, even greater is the observation that the manuscript, as we now find it, has been collapsed into one volume from perhaps three or four. This challenge means that a careful study of every folio must be undertaken to ascertain the integrity of the text and commentary. The seminar will give us the opportunity to have students, drawn from the departments of the History of Art, History, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and Religious Studies, to work on several discrete aspects of this Qur’an copy. They will examine the manuscript for the textual integrity and continuity, and proceed on the identification of the inserted commentary, the analyses of the decorative styles of the headings and subheadings, all other markings, and the various interventions.
M 0300PM-0500PM
  • AAMW518401