Starting in July, the National Gallery of Art will display rare Islamic art from the Victoria and Albert Museum, its first major display of art from the Arab world in 17 years.

The rare traveling show, which will be announced today, was possible because the London museum is building a new gallery for its Middle Eastern artifacts. The Victoria and Albert, founded in 1851, is considered the foremost museum of decorative arts in the world, and its holdings of Islamic materials go back to the 10th century”¦

The show will exhibit calligraphy, including an illuminated Koran from the 17th century. It will also feature decorative objects made for royal courts, such as an ivory casket with engraved silver mounts, as well as work created for mosques and Christian churches. Some of the objects will show cross-cultural influences. One section details how high-fired ceramics from China influenced potters in the Middle East and how the tin glaze used in the Middle East influenced the 16th-century Italian pottery known as majolica…


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