Hundreds Attend Beauty and Belief Public Opening
The opening of “Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture” was a huge success. An estimated 1,700 visitors packed the museum to experience the beauty of Islamic culture with more than 250 art objects, live dance and music performances by a Middle-Eastern dance and music group, Eastern Arts, and to sample baklava, a Middle-Eastern pastry.
The 1,700 visitors exceeded the museum personnel’s original expectations.
Ann Lambson, head of education for the Museum of Art, was thrilled with the high turnout for the opening celebration.
“Friday night was an evening of celebration, and we had a great turnout,” Lambson said.
Visitors were greeted to the exhibition by a 26.3-foot long and 1.2-foot wide calligraphic scroll. It is thought to originate from India or Syria and dates back to the 14th or 15th century. Its Arabic inscriptions are in several media including ink, watercolor, and gold. The scroll contains verses from the Qur’an, sayings of the Prophet, protective prayers, and invocations and proverbs. Its actual purpose, however, remains unknown.
The diversity of students from around the world made the BYU Museum of Art a wonderful place to begin the traveling exhibition. Many BYU students have visited the exhibition since the opening. Some come to fulfill a class requirement. while others come out of curiosity.
“I really liked it,” said BYU Student Sam Brotherson. “We actually came for a class project, but the more time I was in the exhibit, the more interested I became.”
Opening activities for “Beauty and Belief” also included a press conference, guest lectures, and a dinner in honor of lenders to the exhibition, which took place the day before the public opening on February 23.
“Beauty and Belief “is free to the public and will be available for viewing from now until September 29, 2012.
© 2012 BYU Museum of Art, Nathalie Van Empel, photographer.