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Departments

Events & Exhibitions

The calendar that follows is updated bimonthly as of the 15th of each of January, March, May, July, September and November. Most institutions listed have further information available through the World Wide Web. Please reconfirm dates and times before traveling. Readers are welcome to submit information for possible inclusion in this listing through the Feedback page. (Please note in the subject line, "Events & Exhibitions.")

November

Imran Qureshi: Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year”. Imran Qureshi: Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” comprises miniature paintings and site-specific installations. The exhibition is Qureshi’s first major presentation in the uk. Born in 1972 in Pakistan, Qureshi studied in Lahore at the National College of Arts with a major in miniature painting—a traditional discipline he teaches there today. Considered one of the most important contemporary artists on the subcontinent, he crdits in his work a unique synthesis of the genre’s motifs and techniques with current issues and the formal language of contemporary abstract painting. Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK November 19 through January 25.

The Traveler’s Eye: Scenes of Asia. The Traveler’s Eye: Scenes of Asia features more than 100 works created over the past five centuries, providing glimpses of travels across Asia, from pilgrimages and research trips to expeditions for trade and tourism. The exhibition juxtaposes East Asian scrolls, Japanese woodblock prints and contemporary photography with maps, archeological drawings and souvenirs, concluding with three vignettes on western travelers who recorded and remembered Asia during the last century: German archeologist Ernst Herzfeld in Central Asia, American collector and museum founder Charles Lang Freer in China, and the many travelers worldwide who shared memories with mass-produced, hand-colored postcards. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. November 22 through May 31.

Vantage Point Sharjah. Vantage Point Sharjah began with an invitation to photographers based in the uae to explore the Emirate of Sharjah and produce works for review by the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF). The result is a selection of photographs shown in a group exhibition in one of SAF’s new art spaces. The exhibition presents work by professional photographers and artists with a passion for photography, representing the varied approaches to the landscape and life of Sharjah. SAF Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE through November 30.

Ancient Lives, New Discoveries . Introduces visitors to eight people from ancient Egypt and Sudan whose bodies have been preserved, either naturally or by deliberate embalming. Using the latest technology, the exhibition builds up a rounded picture of their lives, their health, their occupations and how they died, all in the Nile Valley over a span of 4000 years—from ancient Egypt to Christian Sudan. The individuals on display include a priest’s daughter, a temple singer, a middle-aged man, a young child, a temple doorkeeper and a woman with a Christian tattoo. British Museum, London through November 30.

Platform 007. Platform 007 is an online project space discussing the future of arts infrastructures and audiences across North Africa and the Middle East, sponsored by Ibraaz, the critical forum on visual culture. Initiated by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation in 2011, it publishes an online, biannual Platform with monthly rolling content, in both written and video formats. Platform 007 is a stage for the interpretation and dialogue around self-organized, socially engaged art practices and how they contribute to, and go beyond, a culture of institutional frameworks for art. www.ibraaz.org/platforms/, through November.  www.ibraaz.org/platforms/ through November 30.

Faith and Fortune: Visualizing the Divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage. Faith and Fortune: Visualizing the Divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage reveals epochal moments in the early histories of two of the world’s great religions—as illustrated by the currencies their followers created and circulated. The exhibition explores the origins, meanings and manufacturing processes of coinage in the neighboring Byzantine and early Muslim empires while also reflecting how attitudes to depicting religious subjects differ between Islam and Christianity. The relationship between these two empires was characterized by a constant dialogue of trade, intellectual exchange and military confrontation. This display examines how currency was used by each to assert cultural difference and promote its own concept of the divine. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, UK through November 30.

Painting with a Needle. Painting with a Needle is a new temporary exhibition dedicated to embroidery, its symbolism and reflected meanings. Traditional patterns and motifs from the different regions of Central and Inner Asia are included. The Russian Museum of Ethnography, Moscow through November 30.

Nour Festival of Arts. Nour Festival of Arts celebrates its fifth annual festival, which shines a light on the very best in contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture each October and November in venues across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Organized by the Council’s Arts and Culture Service, Nour has grown from a pioneering arts-education program based at Leighton House Museum to today’s all-encompassing, 32-partner and 20-venue-strong cultural festival. It introduces ever-growing audiences to thought-provoking work that challenges stereotypes of this region of the world and its peoples through all types of cultural expression: from film and food, and drama and dance, to painting and poetry. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London through November 30.

December

Concentrations 57: Slavs and Tartars. Slavs and Tartars is an art collective whose installations, lecture performances, sculptures and publications result from an unconventional, research-based approach. The group identifies the “area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia” as the focus of its multidisciplinary practice. In this exhibition, the group presents new work from its current series, “Long Legged Linguistics,” an investigation of language as a source of political, metaphysical and even sexual emancipation, using its trademark mix of high and low culture to address the thorny issues of “alphabet politics”: the attempts by nations, cultures and ideologies to ascribe a specific set of letters to a given language. The exhibition includes original works in Persian, Russian, Turkish, Georgian and English presented in a series of sculptures, installations, textiles and printed matter. Dallas Museum of Art through December 14.

The Future Is Not What It Used to Be: The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial. The Future Is Not What It Used to Be: The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial considers “the manifesto” as a platform and a catalyst for critical thinking in design. It asks how 21st-century designers can use the manifesto not only in the production of texts but also through actions, services, provocations or objects with the goal of inciting inventive outcomes. Of 800 submissions from Turkish and international designers, curator Zoë Ryan selected 75 that imagine a new future and instigate change by building on and reinterpreting history. Galata Greek Primary School and other locations, Istanbul through December 14.

The Moving Museum. With a three-month residency program for 40 international artists, the museum marks the largest coordinated influx of international resident artists in Istanbul’s recent memory. Founded in 2012 by Aya Mousawi and Simon Sakhai as an independent, nonprofit organization, The Moving Museum is a traveling program that aims to strengthen relationships among local art scenes and the global community of contemporary art. The word “moving” not only is attributed to the museum’s physical space, but is also described as its “intention to advance contemporary art and its institutions.” Residency from August 1 through October 31; exhibition from October 27 Multiple locations, Istanbul. through December 15.

Serendipity Revealed: Contemporary Sri Lankan Art. . Brunei Gallery, soas, London through December 20.

Pearls of Wisdom: The Arts of Islam. Pearls of Wisdom: The Arts of Islam at the University of Michigan highlights the richness and diversity of Islamic art through a range of artworks in the collections of the University of Michigan. Objects include ceramics, glasswares, metalwares, woodwork, textiles, illustrated manuscripts and paintings. These items highlight how patrons, artists and other individuals have used expressive arts to promote social order and spiritual harmony in both secular and religious spheres in various Islamic cultures from the seventh century until the present day. Ann Arbor, Michigan through December 21.

January

The Rainbow Behind the Black: 100 Years of Saudi Arabian Dress and Accessories. Brunei Gallery, soas, London January 1 through March 31.

In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East. In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East explores how the living and the dead interacted to commemorate ancestors in the ancient Middle East. More than 50 artifacts document how food and drink were regularly offered to nourish the dead in the afterlife and how two- or three-dimensional effigies preserved the memory of the deceased. The exhibition was motivated by the 2008 discovery of a stela in eastern Turkey that dates to about 735 bce; it commemorates an official named Katumuwa. The lengthy text carved on it reveals that, in that region, the soul of the deceased was thought to actually dwell in the stela and needed to be cared for by the living. Other exhibits examine commemoration of and communication with the dead and different conceptions of the soul in ancient Egypt, Iraq and Israel/Palestine. Catalog. Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago through January 4.

L’avenir (looking forward) . L’avenir (Looking Forward) shows work by 50 artists and collectives from 22 countries as bnlmtl 2014—La Biennale de Montréal. It combines a multisite venue, a series of performances, film screenings, talks, tours, publications, conferences and other special events at the Musée d’art contemporain and other cultural institutions and public spaces throughout the city to examine how contemporary artists give form to the question, “What is to come?” Multiple locations in Montréal through January 4.

Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait. Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait comes to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) as a part of a longer-term collaboration with the cultural institution Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah. Founded by Sheikh Nazzer Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah and his wife, Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, this is one of the greatest collections of Islamic art in the world. It contains spectacular Mughal jewelry, illuminated manuscripts, exquisite ceramics and decorated ceiling panels from the eighth to 18th century, from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia. MFAH, Houston through January 4.

Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age. At its height in the eighth to seventh century BCE, the Assyrian Empire was the dominant power of the ancient Near East and the largest empire the world had yet seen, reaching from Assyria (present-day northern Iraq) to the Mediterranean. This landmark exhibition traces—through some 260 works of art on loan—the deep roots of interaction between the ancient Near East and the lands along the shores of the Mediterranean and their impact on the artistic traditions that developed in the region. Parallels are also drawn between works in the exhibition and those in the museum’s permanent collection of ancient Near Eastern art. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through January 4.

Nach Ägypten!: Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee. Although nearly 15 years separated the travels of impressionist Max Slevogt and painter Paul Klee to Egypt, with the former setting out in 1914 and the latter making his journey in 1928, Slevogt’s impressions of Egypt motivated Klee’s modern notion of painting. The exhibition, translated, “To Egypt: The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee,” is the first to focus on the work of these two artists together—through the use of 130 paintings, watercolors and drawings arising out of the context of these trips and illustrating the breaks of transition from impressionism to classical modernism. Kunst Sammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf through January 4.

Proposals on Monumentality. In “Monumental Seduction” (1996), Andreas Huyssen suggested that historical, esthetic and national contexts, along with political and cultural effects, dominate our understanding of the monumental, articulating the issue of the monumental in relation to memory and modernity. Bringing together the works of Asli Çavusoglu, Iman Issa, Christian Jankowski, Amina Menia, Seher Shah and Santiago Sierra, “Proposals on Monumentality” attempts to twist and open up our perception of monumentality along with the complex dynamics of commemoration, space and power. Curated by Ipek Ulusoy Akgül, the exhibition poses a set of questions: Can monuments go beyond representing the past and evoking collective memory? Is it possible for them to resist absorption into memorial narratives? How can monuments express fragmentation and forgetting? Green Art Gallery, Dubai through January 4.

Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades. Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades marks the Egyptian artist’s first major museum exhibition in Germany. Relying on themes used in three of his most recent films, “Cabaret Crusades” confronts the complex mechanisms driving the construction of history. The employment of 24 Italian-made marionettes with exaggerated features to reflect traditions passed down by Muslim storytellers of warring crusaders mixes the fantastic with the heartache of reality. The effect is a reminder to audiences that no one has a monopoly on historical perspective when memories, legends and myths are evoked through multiple voices. Kunst Sammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf through January 4.

The Sacred Lute: The Art of Ostad Elahi. The Sacred Lute: The Art of Ostad Elahi focuses on the renowned Persian musician, thinker and jurist (1895-1974) whose transformative work in the art of tanbur—an ancient, long-necked lute—paralleled his innovative approach to the quest for truth and knowledge. It documents the interdependent, mutually transformative relationship between player and instrument through a presentation of nearly 40 rare instruments and works of art from the Elahi collection, the Musée de la Musique, Paris, and the Metropolitan Museum. It includes rare tanburs that belonged to Ostad Elahi and his father, who was also a great tanbur player; a number of his personal possessions, such as his judicial robes and a selection of manuscripts; and symbolic items that provide greater insights into his disciplined approach to life. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through January 11.

Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An eye-opening look at the largely unknown ancient past of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this exhibition draws on recently discovered archeological material never before seen in the us. “Roads of Arabia” features objects excavated from several sites throughout the Arabian Peninsula, tracing the impact of ancient trade routes and pilgrimage roads stretching from Yemen in the south to Iraq, Syria and Mediterranean cultures in the north. Elegant alabaster bowls and fragile glassware, heavy gold earrings and Hellenistic bronze statues testify to a lively mercantile and cultural interchange among distant civilizations. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco through January 18.

The Future of Fashion is Now. The Future of Fashion is Now takes the visitor on a trip around the most innovative fashion from all over the world, with works by such designers as Viktor&Rolf (the Netherlands), Rejina Pyo (Korea) and Hussein Chalayan (Cyprus). The exhibition examines the critical stance that young fashion designers worldwide are adopting with regard to “the fashion system” and the role of clothes in contemporary society. Designers with non-western backgrounds and from countries bordering Europe, where until recently there was little or no tradition of fashion, are actively seeking to transform the fashion system. The exhibition is the sequel to the successful exhibition “The Art of Fashion” staged in Rotterdam in 2009. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam through January 18.

Into India: South Asian Paintings from the San Diego Museum of Art. Into India: South Asian Paintings from the San Diego Museum of Art uses miniatures to explore art produced by Persian, Central Asian and European leaders and merchants who settled in India from the 12th to 19th centuries. The exhibition presents more than a hundred illuminations of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu manuscripts that illustrate sacred Indian texts, books of Persian poetry and albums documenting the life of the glittering Mughal court or the indigenous flora and fauna, revealing the remarkable ability of Indian artists to adapt their styles to satisfy the taste of the foreigners who dominated India while maintaining a specifically Indian quality. Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec, through January 18. through January 18.

Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection. Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection includes some 60 jeweled objects from the private collection formed by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, offering a glimpse into the evolving styles of the jeweled arts in India from the Mughal period until the present day, with emphasis on later exchanges with the West. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through January 25.

Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: Benjamin-Constant in His Time. Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: Benjamin-Constant in His Time is the first major exhibition on Orientalism to be presented in Canada. Through this unusual retrospective, visitors will discover the dazzling color palette of an acclaimed painter of the Belle Epoque, Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant, who was influenced by his trips to Moorish Spain and the Morocco of the cherifas. His huge, spectacular canvasses conjure up fantasies of a dreamlike orient, viewed through the prism of folklore, ethnographic pretext and pure imagination. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts January 31 through May 31.

February

Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India. Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India examines the Indian influences in Clemente’s work and how they relate to the artistic traditions and practices of various regions of India. In contrast to leading conceptual artists’ practices of the 1970’s, Clemente focused on representation, narrative and the figure, and explored traditional, artisanal materials and modes of working. The exhibition includes some 20 works, including paintings from the past 30 years and four new, larger-than-life sculptures. Rubin Museum of Art, New York through February 2.

Sophie Calle: For the Last and First Time. Sophie Calle: For the Last and First Time consists of two recent projects by one of today’s leading French artists. “The Last Image” (2010), a series of photographs accompanied by texts, and “Voi la mer”(2011), a series of digital films, take an incisive poetic look at the particular reality of the mental images of blind people and at the discovery of beauty and the sublime. Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal February 5 through April 26.

The Landscapes of India: Miniature Painting from the Mughal Era. The Landscapes of India: Miniature Painting from the Mughal Era reveals the scope of landscape tradition in Indian painting. At the same time, the miniatures in this display represent a cross-section of northern and central Indian schools of painting from the 16th through the 19th century. While abstract imagery—particularly with regard to nature and landscape—was visible in Rajput schools of painting into the 19th century, the European influence on Mughal painting reveals an unmistakable naturalism, thereby affecting the Rajput schools in turn. Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin through February 8.

Southeast Asia: 800 CE – Present. Southeast Asia: 800 CE – Present enables students to explore the arts and material culture of Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos and the island nations of Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia, all part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which represents a broad and complex sweep of landscapes, cultures, and religions. Temple architecture, sculpture, painting and manuscripts highlight the distinctive regional characteristics of religious practice and belief. Victoria and Albert Museum, London February 9 through March 23.

Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East. In 1862, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was sent on an educational tour of the Middle East, accompanied by the British photographer Francis Bedford. This exhibition documents the journey through the work of Bedford, the first photographer to join a royal tour, and explores the cultural and political significance Victorian Britain attached to the region.  The display includes archeological material brought back by the Prince, including an Egyptian papyrus inscribed with the Amduat, a memorial text which describes the journey through the Underworld of Re, the Egyptian sun god. The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London through February 22.

March

Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter. Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter. Abdelkader Benchamma creates an astrological vortex in his strikingly graphic, site-specific drawing, rendered in intensely black lines against a wall’s white surface. The work depicts the solar system’s complexity and its nearly imperceptible dark matter. The physically expansive image resembles scientific illustrations of the Big Bang and alludes to explosive cosmic forces. The installation gives form to that which is infinitely large and perpetually transforming. The Drawing Center, New York March 1 through March 1.

Sharjah Biennial 12: The Past, the Present, the Possible. Sharjah Biennial 12: The Past, the Present, the Possible began to take shape in a private conversation between Danh Vo and curator Eungie Joo in early 2013. They discussed the relevance of contemporary art; and the potential or artistic positions to imagine something beyond current states of social and political confinement; and the need for artists to play active roles in imagining the possible. “SB12” showcases more than 50 artists and cultural practitioners from approximately 25 countries who participate in the process of imagining Sharjah through education, culture, religion, heritage and science by introducing ideas of the possible through art and work. Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE March 5 through June 5.

The Lost Dhow: A Discovery from the Maritime Silk Route. In 1998, an Arab ship carrying goods from China was discovered at the bottom of the Indian Ocean off Belitung Island, Indonesia. Dating from the ninth century (China’s Tang Dynasty), the Belitung shipwreck is the earliest Arab vessel of this period to be found with a complete cargo, including silver ingots, bronze mirrors, spice-filled jars, intricately worked vessels of silver and gold and thousands of ceramic bowls, ewers and other vessels. Uncovering its mysterious origins reveals the interconnections between two great powers, the Tang and Abbasid empires. The exhibition provides the earliest evidence of a maritime silk route—and speaks to the vibrant exchange of ideas and technologies between peoples that occurred centuries before the Portuguese entered the region in the late 15th century. Aga Khan Museum, Toronto through March 15.

Mshatta in Focus: The Jordanian Desert Palace in Historical Photographs. The richly decorated façade of the early Islamic desert palace of Mshatta was presented as a gift from the Ottoman sultan to the German emperor in 1903, when it was transported from the Jordanian desert to Berlin, where it now forms the centerpiece of the Museum für Islamische Kunst’s collection, on show in the Pergamonmuseum. Its accession history began with a series of photographs of the façade, which circulated among European archeologists and art historians around the turn of the century and eventually landed in the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm ii. Photographic records were made at several key moments in its recent history: before and during the façade’s dismantling, after the structure was hit by a bomb during World War ii and during its subsequent restoration in the 1950s. Pergamonmuseum, Berlin through March 15.

Nasta’liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy. Nasta’liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy is the first exhibition to focus on nasta’liq, a calligraphic script developed in 14th-century Iran that remains one of the most expressive forms of esthetic refinement in Persian culture to this day. More than 20 works ranging from 1400 to 1600, the height of nasta’liq’s development, tell the story of the script’s transformation from a simple conveyer of the written word into an artistic form on its own. The narrative thread emphasizes the achievements of four of the greatest master calligraphers, whose manuscripts and individual folios were and still are appreciated not only for their content, but also for their technical virtuosity and visual quality. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. through March 22.

Grand Parade: A Unique Art Installation by Jompet Kuswidananto. The Indonesian artist makes a unique presentation of his famous groups of parade figures. Rather than being retrospective of individual works, it serves as a new art installation, conceived as a dynamic whole. The assembly of life-size mechanical figures within the installation is modelled on the groups found in the Indonesian public domain during festive, ceremonial or political parades—with each figure wearing costumes, carrying musical instruments and coming into action through movement of hands, clapping and instrument playing. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam through March 22.

Emperor Charles V Captures Tunis: Documenting a Campaign. Emperor Charles v Captures Tunis: Documenting a Campaign. In June 1535, Emperor Charles v set sail from Sardinia at the head of a fleet comprising 400 ships and more than 30,000 soldiers to reconquer the Kindgom of Tunis from the Ottomans. To document the campaign and his hoped-for victory, he was accompanied not only by historians and poets but also by his court painter, Jan Cornelizs Vermeyen. In 1543, the Flemish artist was commissioned to paint the cartoons for  12 monumental tapestries celebrating the campaign from the countless drawings and sketches he had brought back from North Africa. These unique cartoons are the focus of this exhibition, highlighting different aspects of the dramatic events of 1535. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna through March 31.

April

Egypt’s Mysterious Book of the Faiyum. Egypt’s Mysterious Book of the Faiyum is an exquisitely illustrated papyrus from Greco-Roman Egypt, one of the most intriguing ancient representations of a place ever found. The papyrus depicts the Faiyum Oasis, located to the west of the Nile, as a center of prosperity and ritual. For the first time in over 150 years, major sections owned by the Walters Art Museum and the Morgan Library & Museum, separated since the manuscript was divided and sold in the 19th century, will be reunited. Egyptian jewelry, papyri, statues, reliefs and ritual objects will illuminate the religious context that gave rise to this enigmatic text, which celebrates the crocodile god Sobek and his special relationship with the Faiyum. Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Germany through April 15.

June

Wendell Phillips Collection. Wendell Phillips headed the largest archeological expedition to South Arabia (present-day Yemen) from 1949-1951. Accompanied by leading scholars, scientists and technicians, Phillips was on a quest to uncover two ancient cities—Tamna, the capital of the once-prosperous Qataban kingdom, and Marib, the reputed home of the legendary Queen of Sheba—that had flourished along the fabled incense road some 2,500 years earlier. Through a selection of unearthed objects as well as film and photography shot by the exhibition team, the collection highlights Phillips’s key finds, recreates his adventures and conveys the thrill of discovery on the last great archeological frontier. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. through June 7.

Unearthing Arabia: The Archaeological Adventures of Wendell Phillips. Wendell Phillips headed the largest archeological expedition to South Arabia (present-day Yemen) from 1949-1951.  Accompanied by leading scholars, scientists and technicians, Phillips was on a quest to uncover two ancient cities—Tamna, the capital of the once-prosperous Qataban kingdom, and Marib, the reputed home of the legendary Queen of Sheba—that had flourished along the fabled incense road some 2500 years earlier. Through a selection of unearthed objects as well as film and photography shot by the exhibition team, the collection highlights Phillips’s key finds, recreates his adventures and conveys the thrill of discovery on the last great archeological frontier. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. through June 7.

July

Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World. Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World presents the arts of Islamic cultures from the point of view of authors and artists from historical Muslim societies, offering an alternative to impersonal presentations of Islamic art. The exhibition focuses on specific people and relationships among cultural tastemakers threaded together “as pearls on a string,” a Persian metaphor for human connectedness—especially among painters, calligraphers, poets and their patrons. It highlights the exceptional art of the Islamic manuscript and underscores the book’s unique ability to relate narratives about specific people. Through a series of vignettes, the visitor is introduced to the art inextricably linked to the men and women who shaped the Islamic past and contribute to its future. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco through July 15.

India: Jewels That Enchanted the World. Examines the legacy of 500 years of Indian jewelry, from the 17th century to the present day. More than 300 pieces of jewelry and jeweled objects are brought together for the first time to showcase the beauty of Indian craftsmanship, the magnificence of gemstone setting and the refinement of Indian taste. Assembled from more than 30 museums, institutions and private collections, the exhibition is the most comprehensive ever staged on the subject. Its first section focuses on the jewelry traditions of South India: monumental pieces crafted from gold, worked in relief and decorated with gemstone flowers and birds. The second is devoted to the jeweled splendor of the courts of the Mughals, who came as conquerors, ruled as emperors and, as connoisseurs, patronized artists, architects, enamelers and jewelers. A further section is devoted to the symbiosis between India and European jewelry houses and the cross-cultural influences that resulted in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It concludes with the work of two of India’s leading present-day jewelry houses, The Gem Palace and Bhagat. Catalog in English and Russian. State Museums of Moscow Kremlin through July 27.

August

Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation. Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation elaborates on the history and contemporary experiences of Indian Americans as they have grown to be one of the more diverse and well-recognized communities in the us. Photographs, artifacts, videos and interactives trace arrival and labor participation in the early 1900s; achievements within various economic industries; and many contributions in building the nation. The exhibition also reveals how they have kept and shared their culture and organized to meet the needs of the under-served. Asian Pacific American Center, Washington, D.C. through August 26.

September

Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World (Doha). Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World presents the arts of Islamic cultures from the point of view of authors and artists from historical Muslim societies, offering an alternative to impersonal presentations of Islamic art. Instead, the exhibition focuses on specific people and relationships among cultural tastemakers threaded together “as pearls on a string,” a Persian metaphor for human connectedness—especially among painters, calligraphers, poets and their patrons. The exhibition highlights the exceptional art of the Islamic manuscript and underscores the book’s unique ability to relate narratives about specific people. Through a series of vignettes, the visitor is introduced to the art inextricably linked to the men and women who shaped the Islamic past and contribute to its future. Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar September 1.

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria. Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria showcases the photographs of Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge (1911-1994), one of Nigeria’s premier photographers and the first official photographer to the Royal Courts of Benin. Alonge’s historic photographs document the rituals, pageantry and regalia of the court for more than a half century and provide rare insight into the early history and practice of studio photography in West Africa. [Note: closing date is in 2015.] National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C. through September 13.

October

New Threads Staged Reading Series. Golden Thread’s staged reading series returns, introducing five new plays from and about the Middle East to Bay Area audiences. This year’s lineup includes Middle East America Honorable Mention winners Ismail Khalidi and Daria Polatin, a hit from London by Hassan Abdulrazzak, and a work-in-progress presentation of a new work by Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian. The series launches with a sneak peek at the short plays selected for the ReOrient 2015 Festival. Audiences will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage the artists in conversation after each reading. Thick House, San Francisco through October 31.

November

The Invisible Hand. “The Invisible Hand,” a work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Ayad Akhtar, will be presented in the 2014-2015 season of the New York Theatre Workshop. The play is about an American stockbroker kidnapped by Islamic militants, and how his perspective on his captors evolves as he negotiates for his release. New York Theatre November 1 through December 31.

December

Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. Presents 30 artworks selected from the museum’s extensive Egyptian collection: feral and tame cats, stone or bronze cats, small or large cats, domestic or divine cats. The exhibition explores the role of cats, lions and other felines in Egyptian mythology, kingship and everyday life, where they were revered for their fertility, associated with royalty and valued for their ability to protect homes and granaries from rats and mice. On public view for the first time is a gilded leonine goddess dating from between 770 and 412 BCE that entered the Brooklyn collection in 1937. Brooklyn Museum, New York through December 31.

CULTURUNNERS. On the occasion of the UN’s International Day of Peace on September 21, the Rothko Chapel, in partnership with Art Jameel, hosts the launch of Edge of Arabia’s multi-year us tour of this independent artists’ expedition. In the spirit of the chapel’s mission to inspire people to action through art and contemplation and to provide a forum for global concerns, the event enables pioneering artists, scholars and community groups to cultivate new perspectives on cultural collaborations beyond identities defined by culture, religion, nation, citizenship, economic status, profession, gender or age. Rothko Chapel, Houston through December 31.