Tag Archives: museums

Islamic art – Interactive learning for adults and children

For an in-depth view of the history and aesthetics of Islamic art alongside thousands of examples of artworks visit the Discover Islamic art website: http://www.discoverislamicart.org/

Areas of the subject are split by smaller topics based on time periods, dynasties and decorative styles. You can also search through the databases and collections from various museums around the world

Discover_Islamic_Art_Virtual_Exhibitions_-_2015-06-27_12.53.27

Discover Islamic Art website: http://www.discoverislamicart.org/ by Museum With No Frontiers (MWF)

Something that might appeal to a younger audience is the selection of interactive games that have also been produced as part of ‘Learn with MWF': http://www.discoverislamicart.org/learn/index.html

Learn with MWF

Learn with MWF: http://www.discoverislamicart.org/learn/index.html

The overall design of the page and elements does not shout ‘children’s fun learning’ (my experience in web design and usability kicking in here) but it has the potential to be an effective and engaging learning tool. The above game ‘Where Would You Put Me?’ encourages the user to try and match the object name with the picture on the right of the screen.

Learn with Museum With No Frontiers: http://www.discoverislamicart.org/learn/exe1/index_en.html

Interactive game ‘Where Would You Put Me': http://www.discoverislamicart.org/learn/exe1/index_en.html

Once you have correctly labelled each object (even I had to guess a few of these as the images are not clear until you open them up individually, and neither is the font used for the text), you are taken to the next stage where you can group objects according to the environment they would have been found and used in. The four categories provided below are Mosque, Palace, Fort and House:

Interactive game Learn with Discover Islamic Art

Interactive game ‘Learn with Discover Islamic Art': http://www.discoverislamicart.org/learn/exe1/index_en.html

In summary this is a great way to engage a younger audience and helps familiarise children with objects found in many museums’ Islamic art collections.

Curating Islamic Art

I came across some podcasts on the arts council’s web site recently. They are audio recordings from a meeting where curators and members of staff at some of the UK’s leading museums were invited to discuss how British museums could improve their curation of Islamic Art.

This is hugely intriguing for me personally as I have been quite curious to better understand the decisions made by curators in selecting and displaying Islamic art in London and how this in turn would affect the artists in the local Islamic art scene. One can imagine how this might have a knock-on effect on the developments of the artworks that are then produced. But that is another topic for another day.

I was glad to hear contemporary Islamic art being discussed as a form of important acquisition and that the need to facilitate engagement with thriving Muslim communities across Britain through the artwork was also identified by those in key curatorial positions.

The podcasts are accessible through the Arts Council’s website here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/supporting-museums/cultural-property/curating-islamic-collections/