Collectors and dealers
From exotic treasures to historical works of art, museum curators and enthusiastic collectors searched for the glories of the past.
The early collector of Islamic art is often referred to as an educated amateur. A closed circle of enthusiasts reviewed exhibitions in search of great works of art to furnish their homes. A network of dealers in the Middle East, especially in Cairo, but also in Europe including Spain, contributed to the formation of private collections. Many of the collections were donated or formed the basis for museum collections. The same network of dealers, however, offered works of art directly to museum representatives, a number of whom travelled for this specific purpose.
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Development of Islamic art as a discipline
Collectors and dealers
Rosette shaped part of the minbar of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun

1296; exhibited at Paris World Trade Exhibition in 1867

MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria

Carved and inlayed wood

Fragments of the minbar from the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo were exhibited at the World Trade Exhibition in Paris in 1867. Exhibition of objects like this promoted European museums’ interest in acquiring similar works.

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In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
Encountering the East
Encountering the West
The concept of revivals