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Calligraphy for the Queen: Indo-Islamic Art at the 1876 Centennial

November 14, 2001–October 20, 2002

Calligraphy is considered one of the preeminent forms of Islamic art. In nineteenth-century India, Muslim scribes continued to practice this art, embellishing their writings with gold and other illumination. These calligraphies were collected and displayed by the British Government at world’s fairs as samples of their colony’s arts and crafts.

Among the items shown at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial were calligraphy pages specifically penned as offerings for Queen Victoria. Following the exhibition, the British Government made a gift of seven calligraphies to the museum. These works have been installed to commemorate its 125th anniversary.

Main Building


Dr. Adriana Proser, Assistant Curator of East Asian Art; Dr. Sharon Littlefield, Assistant Curator, Indian and Himalayan Art

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