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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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Docent Training Program Recruitment

Aug

23


Each year, more than 22,000 students from local schools are inspired by the wonders of the galleries, gardens, and studios at the Cummer Museum. School tours supplement school curriculum to give students the tools to relate to their world in new ways through art, science, history, critical thinking, and creation. How is all of this possible? The connections students make to the arts and gardens would not be possible without the dedicated work of our volunteer docent corps, a group of enthusiastic volunteers who engage with students weekly to make the Museum accessible to a younger generation.

Does this sound like something you would like to do? The Museum is currently recruiting new volunteers for the Docent Training Program. You do not need to have a background in art, art history, or education. Skilled Museum Educators will provide a year-long training program that includes instruction on tour content, classroom management, art history, garden history, and studio art projects. The training program begins September 11, 2017.

Requirements for the Docent Training Program:

  • Interest in working with elementary school-aged students.
  • Attendance at the first training on September 11 for a preview of the program.
  • Attendance at monthly training sessions held on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Opportunity to attend monthly Docent Corps meetings held on Mondays at noon.
  • Commitment to leading tours once a week after completing the Docent Training Program.

If you are interested in joining the Docent Training Program at the Cummer Museum, please contact docents@cummermuseum.org or complete the online application.

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Ink, Silk, and Gold: The Regions

Aug

22

Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on display through September 3, 2017, features masterpieces of Islamic art spanning centuries, media, and Islamic tradition. The exhibition features more than 50 items and panels of text, giving the viewer an engrossing background on Islamic history. This is part of a series of blogs that will give you context to the items in the exhibitionIslamic art developed within singular regions, widening its scope and nature. The exhibition presents objects from many different regions, including the ones below.

Egypt and Syria

In the cities of Cairo, Aleppo, and Damascus, architecture and art flourished under the patronage of Mamluk rulers (1250 – 1517) made rich by trade. Elaborate lamps, pulpits, and stands holding Qur’an manuscripts were present in mosques and tombs. Many ornate objects made from brass heavily inlaid with silver and copper, were used at court. These objects often carried the titles and emblems of their noble and royal sponsors as patronage of the arts was an important way to assert and reinforce personal status.

 

Spain, Italy, and North Africa

Islamic Spain was linked to southern Italy, the Middle East, and North Africa by a rich, blossoming network of diplomatic, mercantile, and the occasional military relations across the Mediterranean. Some aspects of Islamic culture became a shared heritage among the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula, as they were continually engaged in economic and political interactions. Silks from al-Andalus are among the products highly valued by the Christians and many ended up in tombs and church treasuries.

Iran and Central Asia

The Ilkhanid dynasty, founded in 1256, ruled Iran, Iraq, and parts of Anatolia and the Caucasus, and lasted until 1335. Another Turkish dynasty, the Timurids, established rule over Iran and Central Asia from the end of the 14th century until 1506. Luster ceramics and inlaid metal work were artistic innovations borne of the Turko-Persian kingdoms. However, the most significant artistic development from that time was the widespread adoption of paper that revolutionized the art of the book.

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Ink, Silk, and Gold: The Great Empires

Aug

15

Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on display through September 3, 2017, features masterpieces of Islamic art spanning centuries, media, and Islamic tradition. The exhibition features more than 50 items and panels of text, giving the viewer an engrossing background on Islamic history. This is part of a series of blogs that will give you context to the items in the exhibition

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the Islamic world was ruled by three great empires. Though these empires experienced times of conflict, they were continually engaged in mercantile and diplomatic interactions with one another.

The Safavid Empire

The Safavid dynasty ruled Iran and the surrounding regions from 1501 to 1726. Nearly all members of the Safavid dynasty were financial supporters of workshops featuring skilled artists. Silk textiles produced in the empire were exported to Europe, which led to conflict with the Ottoman Empire, who aimed to control the silk trade. Artists used silk to create carpets with elaborate patterns. The art of the book flourished in the region as more artists began producing single-page drawings and paintings in unique personal styles.

The Ottoman Empire

Although the Ottoman Empire was established at the end of the 13th century, it did not rise to the status of world power until its conquest of Constantinople in 1453, which marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. At its highest point the empire ruled a territory that reached from Budapest to Baghdad and from Tabriz to Tunis, and included the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The Ottoman territory was located at the crossroads of trade between Asia and Europe.

The elite supported flourishing textile and ceramic industries, as well as architectural projects. Textiles were featured in Ottoman court culture as banners, wall hangings, floor coverings, and as clothing worn by rulers and courtiers. The town of Iznik, also known by its ancient name Nicaea, produced the ceramics that were abundant in elite circles. These ceramics first appeared as imitations of Chinese porcelains and then later bore distinctive Ottoman motifs and colors.

The Mughal Empire

Based in Kabul, a Mughal ruler conquered India in the early 16th century and his successors soon came to rule nearly all of the subcontinent via military tactics and inclusive policies of administration. The Mughal ruler followed the Sunni branch of Islam and oversaw a kingdom of mostly Hindus for two centuries, which resulted in the fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultures into one unique imperial culture. Extensive contact with Europeans also contributed to the rich culture of the Mughal Empire.

The Mughals were great patrons of the arts of the book, the copying of Persian as well as Hindu texts and creating a style of Persian, pre-Islamic Indian, and European painting illustrations. Important works of art from the Mughal Empire also include floral and figural carpets and textiles used to embellish palaces, and portraits of rulers and the elites of the empire.

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Ink, Silk, and Gold: The Early Centuries

Aug

08

Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on display through September 3, 2017, features masterpieces of Islamic art spanning centuries, media, and Islamic tradition. The exhibition features more than 50 items and panels of text, giving the viewer an engrossing background on Islamic history. This is part of a series of blogs that will give you context to the items in the exhibition. Ink, Silk, and Gold is named for the materials that make up the exhibition. Each material is significant within the religion.

Early Islamic art is best encapsulated from the 8th to 10th centuries. That span of time was rife with great political shifts and the gradual creation of an artistic tradition unique to Islamic communities. When the Muslim state conquered the culturally sophisticated regions of land that belonged to the Byzantine and Sasanian empires in the 7th century, it absorbed the culture in those regions as well,  helped shape and develop Islamic art.

The most distinctive art form of this period is the illuminated Qur’an manuscript. Though the Qur’an is essentially an artistic piece borne of oral communication, it assumed a material form during the lifetime of Muhammad. These transferred passages, or codices, make up the pages of the Qur’an and over time, the calligraphy on its sacred pages came to be used on everyday objects out of respect to the divine.

The Islamic world began to break off into separate kingdoms. Distinctive artistic traditions began to define Islamic art, even while common artistic elements persisted.

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Ink, Silk, and Gold: The Materials

Aug

01

Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on display through September 3, 2017, features masterpieces of Islamic art spanning centuries, media, and Islamic tradition. The exhibition features more than 50 items and panels of text, giving the viewer an engrossing background on Islamic history. This is part of a series of blogs that will give you context to the items in the exhibition. Ink, Silk, and Gold is named for the materials that make up the exhibition. Each material is significant within the religion.

Ink defines forms and articulates detail on nearly all Islamic art that takes place on paper. The Qur’an and the Hadith directly connect ink with Creation as Islamic tradition says that first thing God created was the pen. The Hadith refers to sayings attributed to Muhammad and the Qur’an is the collection of Islamic scriptures. In Islamic culture, ink is also associated with morality and intellect, and it is considered a sacred practice to copy scripture from the Qur’an in ink.

Silk weaving was an important Islamic art form as early as the 7th century, when Muslims conquered the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, which were silk-producing regions. They adopted some existing practices regarding silk and shaped new cultural uses, such as khil’at (Arabic for “robe of honor”). The gifting of a silk robe by an Islamic ruler to a visiting head of state or a subject was a way of establishing the balance of power between them.

Gold is universally-known as a desirable material that represents the status of the elite. Islamic art features gold that has been cast to make vessels and jewelry, woven into textiles, inlaid into bronze, and painted onto the pages of manuscripts. Beliefs about the properties and proper uses of gold were present in fashion, finance, the Qur’an, Hadith, and Islamic law. The Qur’an reads that gold will be a common sight for those who are found worthy on the Day of Judgment and will be “adorned with bracelets of gold” and will dine with “dishes and goblets of gold.” It was also believed that excessive use of gold could lead to arrogance and the Qur’an warns against hoarding the precious metal.

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Riyaaz Qawwali Brings South Asian Music Tradition to Northeast Florida

Jul

25

The people of Jacksonville will have a chance to experience the fusion of Islamic tradition and contemporary artistry that is Riyaaz Qawwali this summer. The concert is an extension of Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston that will run until Sunday, September 3.

Riyaaz Qawwali is a talented musical group of South Asian musicians representing an eclectic collection of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. While the members of Riyaaz Qawwali live in the United States, they are originally from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

What is Qawwali? Qawwali is a Muslim musical tradition that dates back more than seven centuries and is still popular today in certain areas of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. A devotional style of music, Qawwali is largely associated with Sufism, an Islamic practice that focuses on personal enlightenment and the actualization of Truth.

Riyaaz Qawwali strives to bring the Qawwali style of music to new places and new audiences, and the unique musical style includes elements not found in other South Asian music. Riyaaz Qawwali takes the style one step further by fusing traditional Qawwali music with the work of well-known South Asian poets. The ensemble’s various religious and ethnic backgrounds send a message of unity and oneness while exposing younger generations across the world to their music.

The concert will be held August 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $30 for members, $40 for non-members, and registration is required to reserve a seat at the show! For further information or to register, please call 904.899.6038 or register online.

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