Oxford museum to exhibit ancient Indian art

November 14th, 2007 - 10:37 am ICT by admin  

Dr. Oliver Watson, the Ashmolean Museum’s keeper of Eastern Art and a specialist on the history of Islamic ceramics, said:”This major project of digitisation and web publishing will focus initially on the Islamic collections.”

“However, of equal importance, it aims to explore the artistic cultures of Asia collectively, in order to determine their similarities and differences.t is necessary to demonstrate that Islamic art exists not in isolation, but alongside the other great Asian artistic traditions, from India to Japan .”

This website, which would be set up using a substantial donation by philanthropist Yousef Jamal, would aim to broaden access to the Asmolean Museum’s renowned collection.

The Ashmolean has a major collection of art and archaeology from the Middle East, South Asia, the Himalayas, South East Asia , China and Japan .

The collection includes Ikat tie-dyed robes from Central Asia, the Newberry collection of more than 1,000 embroidery fragments from Islamic Egypt, more than 1,200 cotton pieces originally from Muslim Gujarat, and a substantial collection of Islamic ceramics from the 8th-19th centuries.

The museum plans to display many of its collections on the proposed website.

According to Christopher Brown , Director of the Ashmolean, “This project will enable the museum to present the art of the Islamic world to a wider audience than ever before.”

Apart from this virtual museum, there are also plans to open a study centre of Islamic and eastern art at the Ashmolean along with a scholarship programme for students at the University of Oxford.

The online centre is planned to be ready in time for the completion of the museum’s current redevelopment in 2009. (ANI)

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