Many Viennese museums include important works of art from the Islamic world in their collections. Often these works are rarely exhibited, not well-known to the public or even to Islamic scholars. The Virtual Museum of Islamic Art in Vienna brings together images from disparate museums and repositories so that they may be viewed, studied, and compared in a new and meaningful context.
The virtual museum’s website is available here. Images can be accessed according to the collections (“Museen”) or according to the dates of the objects (“Zeitstreifen”). Currently the site is only available in German.
The Chester Beatty Library Seals Project:
is an online, interactive database of seal impressions found in Islamic Manuscripts… as a visitor to the site, you are invited to participate in deciphering the seals, identifying the individuals or institutions named, and adding information such as other sources of the same seal impression or other seals that name the same individual or institution.
As there is currently no convenient means by which to find or share information on seal impressions, we hope that this database will be a useful resource for anyone working on Islamic manuscripts.
A user guide is available here. Individual seals are available for download as low-resolution files for teaching or research. Seal records are also linked to the full manuscript so entire folios may be easily viewed.
Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its new Islamic wing: Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia. The New York Times featured an interactive guide to the wing, including panoramic views of galleries which may be expanded to full-screen.
With the help of a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and with additional funding from an anonymous donor, the Walters has completed its program to create digital surrogates of its collection of Islamic manuscripts and single leaves. Images are free for any noncommercial use, provided you follow the terms of the Creative Commons license specified by the museum.
Images of the manuscript are available for download from Flickr, including high-resolution images. Full manuscript PDFs (including data) are also available on the Walters website (see the above example here).
Iraq’s National Museum is expected to reopen in March, for the first time since Saddam Hussein’s rule. Although the Assyrian and Islamic displays were reinstalled in two main rooms in 2008, they have only been accessible to VIPs and invited groups. “It will be the answer to my dreams when we can finally reopen to the public,” said Amira Edan, the museum’s director.
Discussion of an international tour of Iraqi antiquities is also underway. Chicago’s Field Museum is mentioned in the above article as a potential host for the tour.