Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München

The Aura of Alif

The Art of Writing in Islam

Die Aura des Alif
Helm eines osmanischen Meldeläufers, Türkei, 2. Hälfte 16. Jh.

Friday, 22 October 2010 - Sunday, 20 February 2011

Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München
Maximilianstraße 42
80538 Munich

0049-[0]89-21 01 36-100

Opening hours:
Tue–Sun 9.30 am – 5.30 pm

6 | 5 € [reduced]

The written world is a central component of Muslim culture and heritage. The exhibition aims to introduce viewers to the beauty of Arabic writing and the depth of its meaning and metaphoric complexity.

Beginning with the inherent aesthetic quality of calligraphy, visitors will be acquainted with the historical, contextual, and symbolic dimensions of writing with regards to religious, poetic and occult texts. Writing surfaces include not only paper and animal hide, but also ceramic, metal, glass, wood and textiles. The objects on display date from the early period of Islam to the present and include examples fashioned for the ruling elite and also pieces more representative of a «folk» or popular aesthetic date. The dignity of Muslim cultures and their artistic forms of expression are brought to life in the aura of the Alif, the first letter in the Arabic alphabet, symbolic of divine beauty.

Guided tours:
may be arranged for groups on request [d.schaefer@mfv.bayern.de]

Public tours of the museum
occur on Sundays, 2 pm:
24 Oct | 21 Nov |12 Dec 2010 and 23 Jan | 20 Feb. 2011

Public tours of the MVHS, 2.30 pm:
14 Nov | 05 Dec 2010 and 09 Jan | 13 Feb 2011, 6 €

The Aura of Alif.
The Art of Writing in Islam

Edited by Jürgen Wasim Frembgen
Munich 2010, Prestel Verlag