2017: the books you shouldn’t have missed

End of the year: time to look back and see what you have done this 2017. Among the many things, it’s also good to think about the books that have been published and that you should not have missed. And if you have, it’s not a big deal: there is always time to buy a good book.

Dominique Clévenot and Gérard Degeorge, Ornament and Decoration in Islamic Architecture, Thames & Hudson, London 2017. [amazon link]
The reduced edition of the book originally published in 2000 deals wonderfully with the surface decoration in Islamic architecture: a valuable overview.

Sheila R. Canby and‎ Navina Najat Haidar (eds.), Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo 2017. [amazon link]
The collection of the Met: from the origins of Islam in the seventh century through the nineteenth century, and from as far west as Spain and Morocco to as far east as India.

S. M. H. Mousavi Jazayeri (ed.), A Handbook of Early Arabic Kufic Script: Reading, Writing, Calligraphy, Typography, Monograms, Blautop Publishing, New York 2017. [amazon link
A handbook to learn how to write in early Kufic style: not a textbook, but a source for calligraphers, and amateurs.

Eva-Maria Troelenberg (ed.), Mshatta in Berlin: Keystones of Islamic Art, Verlag Kettler, Dortmund 2017. [amazon link]
The ornamented façade of the Umayyad “desert palace” Mshatta is an icon of Islamic art and key to an understanding of its historical emergence and art historical definition.

Kavita Singh, Real Birds in Imagined Gardens – Mughal Painting Between Persia Europe, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles 2017. [amazon link]
The influences in painting and style between Europe and Persia during the Mughal period: aesthetic interests and political needs.

Patricia Blessing and‎ Rachel Goshgarian, Architecture and Landscape in Medieval Anatolia, 1100-1500, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2017. [amazon link]
A look beyond political structures, towards a reconsideration of the interactions between the rural and the urban. An analysis of the relationships between architecture, culture, power.

Idham Mohammed Hanash, The Theory of Islamic Art, Aesthetic Concept and Epistemic Structure, The International Institute of Islamic Thought, London – Washington 2017. [amazon link]
Not an innovative research, but a reference book. A fairly new reading of the theories of Islamic art of  Isma’il R. al Faruqi. My review: here.

Felix Arnold, Islamic Palace Architecture in the Western Mediterranean: A History, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017. [amazon link]
A comprehensive and up-to-date overview of Islamic palace architecture in Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and southern Italy.

Konrad Hirschler, Medieval Damascus: Plurality and Diversity in an Arabic Library: The Ashrafiya Library Catalogue, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2017. [amazon link]
A book about a library: the Ashrafiya library, in Damascus.

Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya, Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India, Silvana, Milano 2017. [amazon link]
A book exploring the connections between different dynasties and empires: the Ottoman (1299-1923), Timurid (1370-1507), Safavid (1501-1736) and Mughal (1526-1857).

Saeid Khaghani, Islamic Architecture in Iran, I.B. Tauris, London 2017. [amazon link]
Khaghani presents a new way of thinking about and discussing Islamic architecture starting from the most famous mosque of Iran.

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom (eds.), By the Pen and What They Write: Writing in Islamic Art and Culture, Yale University Press, New Haven 2017. [amazon link]
All the papers of the Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art, in one book.

Brian A. Catlos and Sharon Kinoshita, Can We Talk Mediterranean?: Conversations on an Emerging Field in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2017. [amazon link]
This book provides a systematic framework for the emerging field of Mediterranean studies, collecting essays from scholars of history, literature, religion, and art history that seek a more fluid understanding of “Mediterranean”.

Andrew Butler-Wheelhouse, The Rhythm of the Pen and the Art of the Book: Islamic Calligraphy from the 13th to the 19th Century, Sam Fogg, London 2017. [amazon link]
The catalog of a beautiful exhibition at the Sam Fogg Gallery in London.

Sussan Babaie and Melanie Gibson (eds.), The Mercantile Effect: On Art and Exchange in the Islamicate World During 17th 18th Centuries, Gingko Library, London 2017. [amazon link]
The collection of the papers delivered at the third Gingko conference: “The Mercantile Effect: On art and exchange in the Islamicate world during 17th ?18th centuries”.

Glaire D. Anderson, Corisande Fenwick and Mariam Rosser-Owen (eds.), The Aghlabids and their Neighbours, Brill, Leiden 2017. [amazon link]
The latest research on the history, art, architecture, archaeology, and numismatics of a major early Islamic dynasty.

George Lane, The Phoenix Mosque, Ginko Library, London 2017. [amazon link]
The Mongol mosque casts light on an important and transformative period in Chinese history, and perhaps the most important period in Chinese Islamic history.

Rosa Bacile, Romanesque and the Mediterranean: Patterns of Exchange Across the Latin, Greek and Islamic Worlds c.1000-c.1250, Routledge, London 2017. [amazon link]
Papers from a conference organized by the British Archaeological Association in Palermo in 2012, and reflect its interest in patterns of cultural exchange across the Mediterranean.

Mohammad Gharipour, Gardens of Renaissance Europe and the Islamic Empires: Encounters and Confluences, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park 2017. [amazon link]
The role and place of gardens and landscapes in the broader context of the information sharing that took place among Europeans and Islamic empires in Turkey, Persia, and India.

Trinidad Rico (ed.), The Making of Islamic Heritage. Muslim Pasts and Heritage Presents, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. [download]
A book reflecting on how to shape the ‘Islamic heritage’ as a field of studies, with all the difficulties it means. Here, my review.


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